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Africa in the great lakes region the reasons for poverty and future development

         Date: 2012-03-12

           Tag: Africa poverty, Africa development

Summary: In the great lakes region though Africa rich resources, but it is still very poor, what reason is this?And in the great lakes region is the development direction in the future is what.About these p…

In the great lakes region though Africa rich resources, but it is still very poor, what reason is this?And in the great lakes region is the development direction in the future is what.About these problems,To watch below detailed introduction.

 Africa in the great lakes region the reasons for poverty
 In my opinion, poverty in the region is mainly caused by many years of wars and conflicts. There have been many years of conflicts among countries in the region, and among differing tribes and clans within a particular country. It is estimated that the region lost approximately two decades of conflicts and wars in the Great Lakes Region. The major preoccupation of countries in the Great Lakes Region was to resolve conflicts.

Tanzania, for example, has been requested to mobilize warring factions in specific countries in the region to resolve conflicts and resort of negations. Part of Tanzanian soil, Ngara in North western part of the country, was overwhelmed by the influx of refugees that were fleeing massacre in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. It is estimated that over one million refugees from Rwanda settled in Ngara District.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which is very rich in minerals, was used by rebel groups to kill each other instead of developing their country. They plundered the minerals to buy weapons to fight each other. Now that peace has returned to these countries, former refugees have returned into their countries, but this did not mean the end of problems.

There is high rate of unemployment, especially among the youth. In Burundi, for example, about 80 per cent of the youth are unemployed. In other countries the problems are the same. Angola has never experienced peace.

It lost all the years in internal conflicts between the country's opposing parties -- UNITA and MPLA that left hundreds of thousands of its people dead and others internally displaced. Tanzania and Zambia are the only countries in the Great Lakes Region which had not experienced conflicts.

But the impact of conflicts in neighbouring countries had left unending scars. They suffered social stress and environmental destruction due to refugees' influx from the conflicts prone countries. The natural resources in conflict-free countries, including Tanzania, have impact on the well-being of the people.

Investment contracts and royalties paid to host countries (amounting to 4 per cent for Tanzania) is not sufficient for the countries' development. The war in Uganda, in late 1970s had adverse effects not only in Uganda but to other countries in the region. Governance issue on the Great Lakes region has always been a matter of concern for many years. Experiences indicate that there had been coups after coups in countries in the region.

The situation in Rwanda in 1993 in which a first Hutu president Melchior Ndadaye was elected, only to be killed four months later is a vivid example. It was followed by demonstrations which led to genocide that claimed hundreds of lives in the tiny Great Lakes region. There had been a series of peace negotiations that led to the Arusha Declaration on Rwanda.

Tanzania, for example, had a total of 20 summits on Rwanda peace process since 1993 in efforts to find lasting peace in that country. The root cause of all these is bad governance, bad politics, politics of exclusion and discrimination based on tribes, ethics groups or class in a particular tribe.

It is only Tanzania, in the Great Lakes Region, with political landscape worth emulating. It is for this reason that Tanzania was always contacted to intervene in case a political upheaval occurred anywhere in the region. The international community has lots of respect for Tanzania for her efforts to resolve conflicts in several countries in Africa, including those in the Great Lakes Region.

 Africa in the great lakes region  the future development

 Now that rebels have laid down arms, I see a bright future in the Great Lakes region. It is a region most endowed with natural resources, both human and minerals. This is the time to embark on economic transformation of the Great Lakes region. This can only be achieved if the natural resources can benefit the people of the region.

Unfortunately, the resources are yet to benefit the people because of the bad contracts entered with foreign investors in which the latter operates with high secrecy; there is no transparency in how much they ship outside the countries and what they leave behind under the so- called corporate social responsibility window. Great Lakes region member countries need to embrace good governance in their endeavours to make economic transformation a reality.

Tanzania will have to learn from this that it is only with right policies that will help the country benefit from its natural resources. We have good policies, yes, but the management aspect of it is a big problem. Corruption is high; something needs to be done to contain the vice. Hard work is the secret to any success.

There is no short cut to success without hard work. All in all, I cannot substitute Tanzania for any country that I have lived and worked in, in all aspects. It is a country that everybody admires, we have good leadership, right policies, we have rich history and a clear vision for the country's development.

Therefore, without hard work, all that we have is meaningless. In Rwanda, for example, its level of development, one would not believe the country had undergone several years of civil war.

It is moving very fast because they have a shared vision, collective responsibility and there is no politicking. One cannot be in the cabinet in Rwanda through a political platform. Separation of power is very clear. Their governance system is result-oriented. Ministers go on retreat after every six months in which they set objectives and plan for achievable results together.

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