Poverty is the absence of options!
Africa continues a lethargic pace behind. There is a lack of food due to environmentally unsound energy procurement. In addition, an energy shortage and lack of educational opportunities with costly brain drain. These are some of the socio-economic “plagues” characterizing the continent.
Yet, the main drama does not lie in the occurrence of these factors alone. It lies in the vicious circles of which they form part; 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, to include; 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 was grounded on a host of pernicious “vicious circles of poverty”. It was 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 and brought 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 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