Africa's poverty status remains one of the most publicized phenomena by the western media over time. The foreign press favors the promotion of gruesome images and biased statistics in representing the African continent.
In February 2002, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair in his address warned that the West could face new terrorist threats from Africa soon as a result of poverty. Comparing the continent's plight to that of Afghanistan, Mr. Blair said Africa was allowed "to deteriorate into a failed state living on drugs and terrorism."
Through the submission that Africa's poverty margin remains a threat to the West. America, China, and Europe have succeeded in promoting propaganda that has significantly rendered Africa vulnerable to foreign influence and interference.
One of the consequences of this poverty propaganda is the 2015 report which revealed that Africa imports $63 billion worth of food every year. Actually, how is that normal for a continent that was a net exporter of food only a few decades ago?
Is a continent which spends an average of US$760 billion yearly on food and commodity imports poor? In essence, Africa is responsible for the wealth of the West, and without patronage through importation from the continent, many foreign economies would collapse.
The time has come to change the way we talk and think about the African continent. Africa is not poor; it is exploited and mismanaged.
Misrepresentations in the media have created a bad image of Africa, and this affects the perception of the continent. Whereas the misconception and propaganda is a deliberate approach by the West to shut the consciousness of Africans from the wealth the continent indeed possesses.
The term 'poverty' does not define Africa in any way; for instance, the Democratic Republic of Congo is considered as the wealthiest country in the world regarding natural resources; its untapped deposits of raw minerals are estimated to be worth more than the U.S. $24 trillion. It is a gross misconception to term such a country as poor, and this is the analogy of Africa.
There is a considerable possibility that Africa can better handle the issues of hunger and economic hardships if the truth was told from the onset that Africa is not poor, but mismanaged.
Why has the West continued to promote a poverty status for Africa when they know that is not the case? Critics believe this is because the western governments want to be seen as generous donors who are trying to help the continent, whereas, in truth, they are stealing from it.
Through the yearly statistics released by western financial bodies like the World Bank and IMF, foreign governments bait African leaders to open up their economy to privatization, and their markets to unfair competition.
With few exceptions, countries with abundant mineral wealth experience poorer democracy, weaker economic growth, and worse development. The West has taken advantage of this management flaw to penetrate many African nations to exploit their resources.
Africa is home to five of the world's top oil-producing countries. Yet, Nigeria, which is the largest oil-producing country in the continent imports more than 90% of products like gasoline and diesel. The country often swaps its crude oil for petroleum products.
Many Africans may be poor, but Africa isn't; that is why foreigners have been coming to the continent for hundreds of years – to invade, occupy, convert, loot, and trade.
Africans must understand that mismanagement, poor leadership, and tribal conflicts are avenues for Neo-colonialism and exploitation to strive. Individually and collectively, Africans must renew their minds and accept that Africa is a wealthy nation, contrary to the western propaganda aimed at enslaving the mentality of the people.
What are your thoughts?