Is Africa poor because of war?


JF-Expert Member
Feb 11, 2007
Is Africa poor because of war?
BBC News Online

Fifteen years of conflicts have cost Africa about $300bn between 1990 and 2005, a study by Oxfam International has found.

This is equal to the amount of international aid received during the same period.

And the continent loses an average of around $18bn a year because of armed conflict.

Will this study influence the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty? How can the international arms trade be regulated? Would that help Africa develop? On what should Africa could have spent its lost billions? Send us your views.

Published: Wednesday, 10 October, 2007, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK

Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 18:14 GMT 19:14 UK

Is Africa poor because of war? Yes BBC; Africa is indeed poor and behind time because of war. Talking about infrastructure, economy, technology and others positive and good things you think about on earth; Africa is lacking these things and behind time due to so-called war. See my country, Liberia before the war, we was moving gradually and for-ward, but now because of war, Liberia is counted among the poorest countries in Africa and around the war. war is the main cause of africa being poor.

william kokulo, Monrovia, Liberia

Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 18:10 GMT 19:10 UK

I think that war in Africa is part of the problem, but also corruption in governments. also, other developed nations have taken advantage of the resources that we have and used them to their own benefit while we sit and watch. i think that war is merely one factor in the problem. there is so much more involved.


Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 18:10 GMT 19:10 UK

Untill the West stops feeding the dictators of Africa, and pay lip service to their slaughterous appetite nothing is going to change,

Denis, Wash DC.

Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 17:49 GMT 18:49 UK

Africa is poorer now and is worse off than it was 60 years ago.
I wonder will we still behaving this discussion in 20 years?
Most people have pretty good ideas on how Africa can improve itself
I sure that African leaders know this
But if African leaders don't care about themselves then why should we?
It is like an alcoholic, no matter how much that u want to help them you can't unless they want to do it for themselves
Basically the West can't help Africa unless it wants to help itself

Martin Reynolds, Cavan,Ireland

Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK

Some outdated Traditions which retard Progress.
Brain Drain;Ambition of most with Initiative & Education is to Leave.
War & Corruption;Colonial Powers stir the pot with Supply of Arms & Unaccountable Loans in return for beneficial Policy of Corporations.
Unfair Subsidies in Wealthier countries.
And lastly RACISM; It's no accident All non-White ex-colonies Struggle for Survival while All White ruled ex-colonies quickly achieve Developed status,including South Africa until Black rule.

Flinkus, Canada

Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 17:39 GMT 18:39 UK

Small point but who sells the Africans their guns , armour, planes etc? They're not made in Africa.

And didnt a human rights group trace a bullet from an african battlefield to Chester?

And where do corrupt Africans bank their money? Not with the bank of Zimbabwe.

Listening to western countries complain about African corruption is like hearing a drug dealer moan about the morality of his clients

Simon O'Brien, London

Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK

Yes - and despot dictator stealing the money that is sent by the West in aid.

How can a country like Nigeria be one of the World's largest oil producers and yet it is so poor? Corruption! While inflation in these countries doubles on an almost hourly rate their leaders are flying to Europe to go shooping in Paris and Oxford St!

Zimbabwe and Ethiopia etc are only poor because their leaders kicked out the white farmers and rtned their contrymen to a subsistance farming culture - doesnt work

[speedbird2639], Birmingham, United Kingdom

Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK

The main problem lies with the fact that the ruling classes fight over the resourses that the countries have, and then when they have these resources they do all in there power to keep hold of them.
They then reward those people who helped them get to power with money and power etc
This then makes the people who are on "the losing side" ie most of the rest of the country resentful and drives the fight for what they see as rightfully there's.
Anybody who can leaves, creating a brain drain

Martin Reynolds, Cavan.Ireland

Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK

War, corruption, greed and other African internal problems are to blame.
West has nothing to do with it.
But why so much pressure on China and Islamic countries to promote democracy and not violate human rights and African countries has no pressure whatsoever?
Does the West even care about talking to the corrupts African leaders?

Ana Lima, Rio de janeiro, Brazil

Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK

The war nver make anyone rich. It is very clear Africa will be poor until the west sold the diedly vipon.

Ali, Toronto

Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK

Africa is poor because of Greedy Corrupt politicians who show no care whatsover for their kinsman, and use the desperate and young to achieve their greedy aims through mostly through the barrels of guns, bought with Donor funds!!

Keith Dowie, Benoni South Africa

Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK

Africa is the victim of its huge wealth and sky-high greed of so called "civilized" people. Be it civil wars or trades involving endangered animals, the main people being benefited are people from outside and some of their collaborators in Africa. Companies in US/EU/China are supplying guns to Africa, buying blood diamonds, ivory ornaments and so on. War is just a small part, but our huge greed is the main reason for Africa to remain poor.


Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK

Not all that many years ago there was a country that was broken by a civil war caused by ideas imported with the backing of powerful 1st world nations. They have been a colonial country for centuries. The people were starving and so poor that they ate bark and grass. They were stripped from their families and lost all they owned. After only 50 years (roughly 2 generations) they are now a 1st world country with democracy. Which country is this? S.Korea (which is still in a state of war.)

patricia robison, san diego

Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK

africa is a lost case scenario-just leave them to themselves,there is nothing the west can do except appeasing their own bad conscience, it is all just fighting windmills, like don chixote de le mancha. mtv

Muhammad Tariq Veder, hamburg, Germany

Added: Saturday, 13 October, 2007, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK

The successful ex colonies such as Egypt, India,and other eastern countries were civilized before the European powers conquered them, so when the Europeans left they just carried on with the minimal adjustment. Sub Sahara Africa was never civilized in the same way. The Arabs had exploited simple African tribes for centuries including slavery.

When the Europeans left, the Africans simply went back to tribalism, but as tribal lines had been corrupted this led to conflict and corruption.

[RosieInLondon], London, United Kingdom
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