Poverty is the absence of options!
Africa continues in lethargic pace behind. Lack of food; environmentally unsound energy procurement as well as shortage of energy; lack of educational opportunities together with costly brain drain; these are but some of the socio-economic “plagues” characterizing the continent.
Yet, the main drama does not lie in the occurrence of these factors as such. It lies in the vicious circles of which they form part, and which tend to go on and on. For each of these factors are at the same time cause and effect of a destructive process: the African “impasse.”
Each of these factors goes back to poverty (social & economic as well as poor leadership). Poverty is the root of the African dilemma. Poverty is the absence of options! Poverty creates poverty.
Poverty creates environmental degradation, which constitutes loss of natural wealth. Loss of natural wealth means increased poverty. Without jobs and without productive land, poor people are forced onto marginal lands in search of subsistence. They end up in slums and ghettos. Those who stay on the land are forced to graze livestock herds where vegetation is sparse or soils and shrubs are easily damaged. This really means grazing in hillsides, in tropical forests, or in other ecologically sensitive areas.
The toll on natural resources takes many forms, including soil erosion, loss of soil fertility, desertification, deforestation, depletion of animals and fish stocks from over-hunting and over-fishing, loss of natural habitats and species, depletion of groundwater resources, and pollution of rivers and lakes.
The result is the reduction of the carrying capacity and productivity of the land and its biological resources. This degradation further exacerbates poverty and threatens not only the economic prospects of future generations, but also the livelihood, health, and well being of the current population.
The African crises, grounded on a host of pernicious “vicious circles of poverty”, is made worse by unfavorable external as well as internal circumstances, which are huge and numerous: Some go back to the colonial era, which left Africa with artificial boundaries, bringing about a lack of political cohesion and even severe ethnic and tribal clashes and wars.
Internally, Africa has continued to suffer from a shortage of altruistic and effective leaders. Poor leadership has cost the continent immensely over the past few decades, creating major problems in the political, economic, and social spheres.
The common question often asked is: ‘Is there hope?’ The answer is a resounding YES!
Community Awareness and Development Association-Cameroon (CADAC) was created by concerned Cameroonians with the goal of tackling many of the socio-economic problems in the communities we serve in. In the words of a former American President, Roosevelt, we are cognizant that:
“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”
A question invariably asked and a logical one for that matter is ‘what should be done?’ Amidst the despair, ‘is it possible to see real transformation in Africa?’
CADAC: Awareness + Innovation + Action = DEVELOPMENT