AFRICAN RESOURCES: A BLESSING OR A CURSE
The existence of mineral and natural resources in the African continent has been the subject of much turmoil and unhappiness for the continent. The largest deposits of gold and diamond are found in this continent, plus oil and other natural and mineral resources. These resources have attracted the attention of so many people to the continent with the objective to explore the much coveted treasures. Some of the people that came which constitute the majority came with the objective of plundering the resources of the continent and leave. Within this group are included the former colonial masters from the west. All of these came to Africa with the objective of plundering the continent of its treasured resources without developing the continent.
The existence of such resources in the continent has sparked civil wars plus both political and economic unrest in most of the countries in Africa. Ranging from the civil wars in Angola, the Sudan, DRC, Sierra Leon, these are just a few of the examples that elucidate the negative spell that the resources have brought to the continent and its people. While one may argue that the resources are not to blame for fostering the violence and unrest in the continent, yet they served as catalysts to attract unscrupulous and greedy individuals from inside and outside the continent to bring an upheaval to it. So many countries in the continent have been disgraced because of the riches that were supposed to bring development, change, and progress to the continent. But instead the sons of the continent decided to partner with individuals of like nature from the west to plunder abuse and destroy the continent for their self enrichment and self-indulgence.
The African continent has enough resources to bring development to the continent and even to sustain itself. However, that is far from the present reality of what is on the ground because the continent has given birth to strange and bastard children that do not care, neither have regard to the well being of the continent and to its people. It is so interesting note that whenever a debate is sparked on the same topic, by default people are prone to point fingers to the white Devil from the West. He is the main culprit, he is to blame for everything that happens in Africa, even for the stupidity of some African leaders. While the white Devil from the West may not be completely innocent, we have to acknowledge though, that he is not responsible for everything that happens in Africa. What ever happens in Africa is always through an African accomplice; whether that accomplice is called Mobutu Sese Seko, Charles Taylor, Jonas Savimbi, Sani Abacha…the list is endless. The fact is that there is always an African crony that is constantly available to sell his birth right for a Mercedes Benz, a mansion in Europe, a beach house in Honolulu, stolen money in a Swiss bank account and a prostitute in a five star hotel, drinking Scotch and smoking cigars the whole night. It’s pathetic!
Unfortunately this is the reality of the state of the continent and due to such one begins to wonder whether the riches the continent possesses are indeed a blessing or a curse. The former is still far from its realization. Even though the African continent is potentially blessed due to its vast mineral and natural resources, it is yet to be seen in the practical aspects of infrastructural development, economic bliss, human development, and in technologic and scientific advance. One begins to wonder whether Africa is better off without its resources or it should look for a different path to translate its natural and mineral capital to usable formats that can enhance the lives of the people and the advancement of the continent. That is not to say that by embarking in a different path it will eventually dissipate the obnoxious disposition of humans toward stealing, killing and committing all sorts of atrocities for their self-indulgence. The truth remains that the resources that are in this continent are neither a curse nor a blessing, history has proven to us that the nobility or unscrupulousity is a characteristic inherent in every human being, whether from Africa or anywhere else. The existence of such resources does not necessarily constitute a blessing or a curse, because we cannot define such based on the haves and have not. Thus, the matter lies on the intrinsic values that are inherent in every individual regardless of their geographic location, race, status in society and education. If one gives good resources to an obnoxious individual, the resultant action that emanate from that combination will irreversibly sprout much damage to fellow humans. Thus, Africans should stop the blame game and begin to take responsibility for the resources that have been entrusted to her and take care of her destiny. That will happen by uprooting all the destructive tendencies in its own people and begin to build values and principles that will eventually catapult the continent to its destined and desired place in the global arena. Once that begins to take place the issue of unwelcome partnerships that are detrimental for the development of the continent will naturally be dealt with. Hence, the destiny of Africa does not rest on the preciousness of its natural and mineral resources, but in the quality and the nobility of its human capital.