African Poverty

African PovertyAfrican PovertyAfrican PovertyAfrican Poverty

Article about African poverty. Links for African poverty.

There have been many attempts to rid the world of African poverty. It seems obscene that it still exists in the 21st century. Whilst some African countries have made advances, others struggle terribly. Wars, drought, crop failure, disease, corrupt government and the apathy of the West have all played a part.

Charities do their bit to help. I am a member of an organization that recruits people to sponsor individuals in Africa. I sponsor a little girl in a remote village in Malawi. This organization, and similar ones, works in a clever way to combat African poverty. It allows me to establish a personal relationship with one child, but the money I send each month helps the whole community. They have used the money towards the cost of building a school and to dig a well. It's also been used to buy mosquito nets, to address the problem of infant malaria, and to buy school equipment. My sponsored child writes letters to me through an interpretator, and I send letters to her and occasional gifts. The organization sends me reports on the work they do in the community and articles about African poverty in general.

This sponsorship is incredibly important to everyone in the community. As each village becomes self sufficient, the organization moves on to another community caught up in African poverty and invites its sponsors to take up a new sponsorship there. It's a wonderful example of a well thought out and long term strategy. Some charitable giving has to deal with short-term emergencies of course. Just imagine, however, if everyone who could afford it, became a sponsor. Just think what effect that would have on African poverty.

The other way in which I try to give support is to buy Fair Trade goods in the local stores. The Fair Trade movement has been most successful in trying to combat African poverty by setting a fair price for farmers and growers in Africa, so they can achieve a reasonable standard of living. Some of the independent companies that have taken up the Fair Trade cause have been successful enough to be bought out by well-known brands. I buy Fair Trade coffee, tea, chocolate and bananas. So ok, it's just my little bit. Imagine, once again, if everyone did the same.

The promises made, concerning African poverty, at the recent G8 Summit are under scrutiny at the moment. Progress on carrying out the promises must be monitored closely. Politicians have the ultimate power to get rid of African poverty once and for all. Celebrities such as Bob Geldof and Bono do the invaluable work of keeping the issue uppermost in our minds and on the news. Everyone, as an individual, can also do his or her bit. The only way out of African poverty is for all African communities to become self sufficient, and that's something we can all aim for.

South African Council of Churches - Churches working for moral reconstruction in South Africa, focusing on issues of justice, reconciliation, integrity of creation and the eradication of poverty and contributing towards the empowerment of all who are spiritually, socially and economically marginalized.
GoedgedachtForum for Social Reflection (GFSR) - Nonpartisan, Catholic Social Teaching-guided South African think tank studying social, economic and political issues and sponsoring training, poverty relief, and other social programs. Site includes publications and reports, trust information, and directory of development resources.
Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN) - Vast site with news, articles and background information from many NGOs and agencies seeking to alleviate poverty.
UNECA - African Information Society Initiative (AISI) - An action framework for information and communication activities since 1996, giving Africans the means to improve the quality of their lives and fight against poverty. Includes resources, programmes and related initiatives. From the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
The Sahara and the Sahel Observatory (OSS) - Details about mission, objectives and structure of OSS, an organization striving to build up an African arena for cooperation and exchange to combat desertification and poverty. Available in English and Freanch.
New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) - Details on a pledge by African leaders to eradicate poverty and to place their countries on a path of sustainable growth.
Globalisation and the South African Textiles Industry - Revised version of a paper presented at the Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) workshop on Globalisation, Production and Poverty in South Africa, focusing on the impact of trade liberalisation on firms, employment and wages in the South African textile industry. Authors: Simon Roberts and John Thoburn.
Afro-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO) - A network of African organizations aiming to explore opportunities for coordination of efforts for promoting welfare and eradication of thirst, hunger, illiteracy, disease and poverty amongst rural people.
Every Child Ministries - Christian mission specializing in Christian ministries to African children, orphans, street children, slave children, homeless and other needy children in poverty.
Schroeder: Anti-poverty fight key to African peace - [CNN]
Blair to tackle African poverty - [CNN]
African nations make progress in fighting poverty - [CNN]
Corruption worsens African poverty, says Obasanjo - [CNN]
South African youth orchestra flourishes despite poverty, deprivation - [CNN]
World Bank - Poverty in Africa - Monitoring and measuring poverty in African nations. Includes a household survey which covers labour, income and expenditure data among other things.
Voices of Cabrini - Remaking Chicago's Public Housing - A documentary film looking at the redevelopment of Cabrini Green, an imfamous housing project known for drugs, poverty and gangs, and how the strong community of African-American residents are moving forward.
Alliance for Community Transformation (ACTAfrica) - A non-profit dedicated to facilitating strategic partnerships for poverty alleviation and democratic development. Works with African universities and local communities to establish programs for collaborative community development.

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