Africa was believed to become the new superpower. With all its potentials and with an upcoming generation of new leaders, the “Africa rising” movement developed both inside and outside the continent.
Now Africa is not even able to feed its own people. It seems to have been another false start. It has been estimated that 60% of the world`s uncultivated arable land is in Africa, just waiting for leaders to exploit it instead of begging for food to avoid hunger. Some leaders also use “climate change” as an excuse for lack action.
Millions of people are at risk of starvation in countries like Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan. These countries are all at war. The famine is never just a natural disaster. It is always a product of politics.
National leaders should be drivers of development for all rather than being preoccupied with distributing privileges among themselves. When a poor country shops for weapons, begs for food and ignore poverty in their own country, the term “failed state” is relevant. Reports from South Sudan say that the Government try to stop humanitarian aid because it could be used to feed the enemy, is an indication that South Sudan is no 1 failed state in Africa today.
Countries like Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda are not the best models of “good governance”, but their autocratic leaders have been effective in stabilizing their countries, as well rebuilding fragmented societies.
Democracy is hard to sustain in the absence of economic growth for the poor. People start looking for a firm hand who acts more than he/she talks. Many of the most impoverished have come to see democracy as a system that keeps them poor and the corrupt people in power.
Maybe there are better systems of representative governance in Africa than the competitive western style multi-party elections, without going the autocratic way?
Photograph: Dominic Nahr / https://www.msf.org.uk/country/south-sudan