Essay Question One
Chapter 12 “The Vast Majority of Africans are no Better Off than their Parents”
The plight of a significant proportion of Africans remains a widely coveted topic that has generated intense debate from various settings. Based on a personal thought, the notion that a vast majority of Africans are not better than their parents is true. Africans remain caught up in traps of relations of dependence even though they are struggling hard to earn a living, and such relations have and remain costly for the Africans to sustain (Hydén, 2013). Despite the fact that Africans in the contemporary world have tried to break from relations that makes them dependent on others, especially foreign donors, there exist no predictable nor formal system that can support them to attain financial, economic, and political independence. In a nutshell, Africa remains vastly unstable both politically and economically; hence, vast majority of Africans experience turbulent rimes that makes the no better than their fore fathers.
Examples drawn from the Democratic Republic of Congo justify the notion that the vast majority of African Congolese are not better off than their parents. Despite the existence if various resources that could guarantee economic growth, structural change remains a major impediment for Congo’s economic development. Oil production in Congo has been critical in enhancing the country’s overall economic development. However, economic development in Congo has not been inclusive enough to guarantee a reduction of poverty. As a result, a vast majority of Congolese are still languishing in poverty, which makes them no better than their parents. The second example aligns with the fact that Conge remains fragile and prone to conflicts, which was the case in the past. Despite the improvement of security in Congo, tension remains high as most of the Congolese lack confidence in their system of governance. Lack of transparency in Congo’s electoral process may plunge the country into severe conflicts, which will take back the country to its initial state of conflict that was common for the previous generations. This example justifies the notion that Congolese in the present day generation may not be better off than the previous generations.
Essay Questions Two
While it is true that foreign aid may be crucial in providing solutions of problems experienced by Africans, it is unfortunate that the same foreign aid tends to create a wider array of problems for the Africans. One of the most significant problem caused by foreign aid is dependence. Foreign aid provided to Africans by various donors tends to create “dependency syndrome.” Foreign aid does not provide a long-term solution to existing problems (Hydén, 2013). Instead, it limits the independence of Africans; hence, making them not to develop the capacities to fend for themselves. The second problem caused by foreign aid is that it does not foster development. Development in Africa can never be realized through the use of foreign aid. On the contrary, development in Africa calls for calls for concerted efforts from its own people. Such efforts cannot be realized with the presence of foreign aid. Foreign aid does not foster domestic development because it encourages dumping of under-priced goods in various African contexts. Such dumping of under-priced goods is unfavourable for domestic producers, who would have re-energized overall development.
In the context of Congo, over-dependence on foreign aid as a problem has and continue to negatively impact on the economic development of this country. Due to the high depended on foreign aid that the Congolese have developed over time, the Congolese populations do not put in any efforts aimed at enhancing their own dependence. On a similar note, foreign aid in Congo has only served the interest of certain population segments, especial foreign investors tasked with the role of channelling aid to the vulnerable populations. In fact, corrupt leaders in the Congolese contexts have and continue to use foreign aid to enrich themselves.
Hydén, G. (2013). African politics in comparative perspective. Cambridge University Press, 32 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10013.