Africa News blog
African business, politics and lifestyle
Africa is rich in natural resources like oil, gold, diamonds, platinum and yet millions of African people live in abject poverty. The global economic and climate crisis have made life even harder.
At the recent G8 meeting in Italy, African leaders and members of civil society voiced concerns over the promises made in previous G8 meetings of aid and assistance that have yet to materialise.
But should African leaders be taking greater responsibility for the plight of their people? Is the West to some extent being asked to bear the responsibilities of African governments that have failed their people through wars, rigged elections and spectacular self enrichment? Should Africans not be investing more in their own economies?
Many in the diaspora have stayed away from their countries of origin as a result of lack of progress, resources and infrastructure. But will that continue forever? Should Africans look to the West for handouts while some of its leaders live in luxury and some of their governments are ravaged by corruption?
Just stop someone on the street and ask if they have a cousin, a brother, or a sister living in Europe, the United States or elsewhere around Africa, and most likely they’ll say that they have two or three or more. Remittances from those loved ones total some $40 billion per year, according to the United Nations. In some countries, diaspora money makes up more than 20 percent of the gross domestic product, and analysts say, remittance cash may be as much as 50 percent higher than current estimates due to informal transfers.
But there is growing concern that this money could be a victim of a spiralling crisis in global financial markets.