What happened to Africa?

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
fjafjan
THE fjafjan
Posts: 4766
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:22 pm UTC
Location: Down south up north in the west of eastern west.
Contact:

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby fjafjan » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:12 am UTC

goblin_subway wrote:Ok, here is why Africa is going to crap: They have no economically viable (to western nations) resource (oil, coal, trained people, etc). Curing malaria, AIDS, etc. in Africa causes $0 profit to any company or government that might invest in Africa. End of story. It has nothing to do with race, it is far more heartless. It is money.

What? That's completely unfounded and entirely untrue. I mean cmon, this is an easily verifiable fact, and most african nations do have alot of natural resources. That there is no profit to be made there is a ludicrous statement.
//Yepp, THE fjafjan (who's THE fjafjan?)
Liza wrote:Fjafjan, your hair is so lovely that I want to go to Sweden, collect the bit you cut off in your latest haircut and keep it in my room, and smell it. And eventually use it to complete my shrine dedicated to you.

User avatar
Dream
WINNING
Posts: 4338
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:20 pm UTC
Location: The Hollow Scene Epic

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby Dream » Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:10 pm UTC

fjafjan wrote:
goblin_subway wrote:Ok, here is why Africa is going to crap: They have no economically viable (to western nations) resource (oil, coal, trained people, etc). Curing malaria, AIDS, etc. in Africa causes $0 profit to any company or government that might invest in Africa. End of story. It has nothing to do with race, it is far more heartless. It is money.

What? That's completely unfounded and entirely untrue. I mean cmon, this is an easily verifiable fact, and most african nations do have alot of natural resources. That there is no profit to be made there is a ludicrous statement.

Calm down. goblin_subway must know something we don't. Like that actually, the west doesn't use oil or uranium as energy sources, and as such these things have no value as exports whatsoever. Probably we've all been converted to solar and wind power by a shadowy conspiracy without any of us realising what's going on. Or maybe that Nigeria, Libya and South Africa secretly aren't in Africa at all, but have always been in Europe.

He should really tell the World Bank and the IMF why their loans aren't being paid back, and tell the African governments why the west pays them so little for their exports. Secretly, they're worthless!
I knew a woman once, but she died soon after.

User avatar
oxoiron
Posts: 1365
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:56 pm UTC

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby oxoiron » Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:45 pm UTC

goblin_subway wrote:Ok, here is why Africa is going to crap: They have no economically viable (to western nations) resource (oil, coal, trained people, etc). Curing malaria, AIDS, etc. in Africa causes $0 profit to any company or government that might invest in Africa. End of story. It has nothing to do with race, it is far more heartless. It is money.
While the bit about no resources is untrue, the observation on profit and money is true. As long as countries outside of Africa can make decent profits without making significant investments in Africa, changes will probably not occur due to outside influences. Only when the rest of the world decides that they must sacrifice something for their profits (besides the well-being of Africans) will the situation improve. If history is any guide, this won't happen soon. At this time, short term profits outweigh any concerns about the present problems and long term repercussions.
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect)."-- Mark Twain
"There is not more dedicated criminal than a group of children."--addams

User avatar
SabreKGB
Posts: 211
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:29 am UTC

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby SabreKGB » Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:13 pm UTC

Yeah, lack of natural resources in not why Africa sucks. The continent has quite a large supply of a multitude of resources; it is their mis-management, not their lack, that hurts so bad.

User avatar
TheStranger
Posts: 896
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:39 pm UTC
Location: The Void which Binds

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby TheStranger » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:01 pm UTC

oxoiron wrote:At this time, short term profits outweigh any concerns about the present problems and long term repercussions.


Even long term profit in Africa is in doubt. Yes the resources are there, but with the current political situation (and no reasonable possibility for change in the future) investment in Africa is exceptionally risky, perhaps even irresponsible.
"To bow before the pressure of the ignorant is weakness."
Azalin Rex, Wizard-King of Darkon

User avatar
Vaniver
Posts: 9422
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:12 am UTC

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:30 pm UTC

TheStranger wrote:Even long term profit in Africa is in doubt. Yes the resources are there, but with the current political situation (and no reasonable possibility for change in the future) investment in Africa is exceptionally risky, perhaps even irresponsible.
This brings to mind Nordic relief agencies in Zimbabwe- they exchange their money (to provide relief with) through the national bank, despite the interest rates being hideously inflated, because they believe in operating in the proper channels. It's unknown how much of a percentage of government income this moneychanging represents, but it's suspected to be rather large.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

Avatar from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, owned by Hasbro.

User avatar
goblin_subway
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:40 pm UTC
Location: Kansas City, Kansas, USoA, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby goblin_subway » Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:45 am UTC

Ok, I should have said "easily exported" resources. Consider the war-based culture in most of Africa. They may have resources, but getting those resources is very complicated.
I am Jack's overused quote.
...
Oh, almost forgot. Fuck MENSA.

User avatar
SabreKGB
Posts: 211
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:29 am UTC

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby SabreKGB » Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:50 am UTC

Just because they are being mis-managed doesn't mean that the resources are any harder to export than the same kind anywhere else. For example: oil, diamonds, lumber, exotic game. All easily exportable, if they weren't completely mis-managed.

Civil wars and insurgencies make all sorts of economic activities difficult. Economics, especially investment, depends on a large degree of stability. Of course, poverty has a detrimental impact on stability. So, you do have something of a "viscious circle".

User avatar
goblin_subway
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:40 pm UTC
Location: Kansas City, Kansas, USoA, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby goblin_subway » Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:03 am UTC

That was kind of my point. In order to export the resources, you have to deal with all the other BS in the region.
I am Jack's overused quote.
...
Oh, almost forgot. Fuck MENSA.

Philwelch
Posts: 2904
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:33 am UTC
Location: RIGHT BEHIND YOU

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby Philwelch » Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:46 am UTC

SabreKGB wrote:Just because they are being mis-managed doesn't mean that the resources are any harder to export than the same kind anywhere else. For example: oil, diamonds, lumber, exotic game. All easily exportable, if they weren't completely mis-managed.

Civil wars and insurgencies make all sorts of economic activities difficult. Economics, especially investment, depends on a large degree of stability. Of course, poverty has a detrimental impact on stability. So, you do have something of a "viscious circle".


I've actually read that the prevalence of natural resources actually makes civil war more of a problem, since any crackpot who can round together a few goons can easily overrun a diamond mine, start exporting, and fund a guerrilla army. The problem isn't even that Africa isn't exporting their resources, it's that the exporters aren't all consistently reinvesting their profits into economic development so much as they're reinvesting into civil war. Also, they're probably not harvesting resources as efficiently as they should.
Fascism: If you're not with us you're against us.
Leftism: If you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem.

Perfection is an unattainable goal.

User avatar
Dream
WINNING
Posts: 4338
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:20 pm UTC
Location: The Hollow Scene Epic

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby Dream » Fri May 02, 2008 9:12 am UTC

goblin_subway wrote:Ok, I should have said "easily exported" resources. Consider the war-based culture in most of Africa. They may have resources, but getting those resources is very complicated.


Please explain what you mean by "war-based culture". If you actually mean that most African culture is based on war, then I hate to say it but there is no chance of you understanding this subtle and complex problem. If all you mean is that there is lots of war in Africa, then you're still quite wrong. While there is more warfare there than in many other regions, there are many parts of Africa that have no war, and haven't in quite some time. They should then be more developed than the rest? Also there are parts of the world that have been properly and completely war torn, yet still manage a level of development far beyond that of Africa.

Stop thinking of everywhere that's had a war as being like Rwanda, and everywhere that's had a dictator as being like Zimbabwe. Africa is richly varied and spans a great swathe of human existence. It can't be encompassed in a statment like "war-based culture".
I knew a woman once, but she died soon after.

User avatar
goblin_subway
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:40 pm UTC
Location: Kansas City, Kansas, USoA, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby goblin_subway » Sat May 03, 2008 1:25 am UTC

Dream:
Ok, I generalized, but within what I thought was the general bounds of the previous few posts. Seems I was wrong. Bad goblin, bad. Thanks for the disciplinary action.

We were discussing the resources and how resource scarcity has a general tendancy to create arguments, fights, and eventually warfare. That was what I was referring to. I am not being racist, exclusionary, or operating under any other kind of discrimination when it comes to Africa. Please re-read my above posts and try not to read too much between the lines.
I am Jack's overused quote.
...
Oh, almost forgot. Fuck MENSA.

User avatar
Dream
WINNING
Posts: 4338
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:20 pm UTC
Location: The Hollow Scene Epic

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby Dream » Sat May 03, 2008 3:36 am UTC

goblin_subway wrote:Dream:
Ok, I generalized, but within what I thought was the general bounds of the previous few posts. Seems I was wrong. Bad goblin, bad. Thanks for the disciplinary action.


People are going to disagree with you if you post in SB.

Your generalisation ran to: "Africa's culture is based on war." Perhaps you didn't mean to write that, or made some grammatical error that changed the meaning of the sentence. But it is what you wrote, and I don't think it's going overboard to say that that statment if offensively disparaging of an entire continent. So I replied strongly. You were wrong.

I accused you of no racism, exclusion or discrimination. I accused you of being wrong.
I knew a woman once, but she died soon after.

User avatar
goblin_subway
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:40 pm UTC
Location: Kansas City, Kansas, USoA, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby goblin_subway » Sat May 03, 2008 3:46 am UTC

Ok, I should have said "easily exported" resources. Consider the war-based culture in most of Africa. They may have resources, but getting those resources is very complicated.


And that is where it went all wonky. It should have been "alot of Africa", not "most of Africa". I now see why you were upset, I meant alot, not most. I misspoke. I still stand by what I said when you substitute alot for most.
I am Jack's overused quote.
...
Oh, almost forgot. Fuck MENSA.

User avatar
Dream
WINNING
Posts: 4338
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:20 pm UTC
Location: The Hollow Scene Epic

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby Dream » Sat May 03, 2008 5:17 am UTC

Well, even in the "a lot" you'd still have to explain why other nations that have seen war and despotism in other parts of the world aren't in the same situation as Africa is. Take for example Chile, which had a terrible dictator for many, many years, or the former Yugoslavia, that had war. Neither of these places are afflicted by famine, nor have the disease or literacy rates that much of Africa suffers. I thhink there's something more than war and despotism at play in Africa, something that prevents it from fully recovering from the catastrophes it suffers, which in turn renders it susceptible to future ones.

My guesses, and they are just that, are that the main factors are education and foreign ecenomic interference.
I knew a woman once, but she died soon after.

Cooley
Posts: 398
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:53 am UTC
Location: Hemet, California
Contact:

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby Cooley » Sat May 03, 2008 3:07 pm UTC

I remember reading somewhere that the reason Africa never really developed (sub-Saharan) was that the interior is a bunch of jungles, mountains, and dangerous rivers. The lack of a transportation route over land to the rest of the world from the interior led to it remaining primitive while the rest of the world moved on.

wikipedia wrote:South of the Sahara conditions were different. Internal trade within the continent, hindered by thick forests and massive deserts, was always difficult. Prosperity in sub-Saharan Africa was rare, excepting Nubia, Ethiopia, Mali and Ghana, which had trade routes north to the Mediterranean world and Middle East.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Africa#History

Otis
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 4:12 am UTC

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby Otis » Sat May 03, 2008 9:51 pm UTC

Dream wrote:Well, even in the "a lot" you'd still have to explain why other nations that have seen war and despotism in other parts of the world aren't in the same situation as Africa is. Take for example Chile, which had a terrible dictator for many, many years, or the former Yugoslavia, that had war. Neither of these places are afflicted by famine, nor have the disease or literacy rates that much of Africa suffers. I thhink there's something more than war and despotism at play in Africa, something that prevents it from fully recovering from the catastrophes it suffers, which in turn renders it susceptible to future ones.

My guesses, and they are just that, are that the main factors are education and foreign ecenomic interference.



I think the difference may be that in Africa it's not just one country that can't stabilize but a large group of them.

Then again, what do I know. All I know of Africa is what I've seen in Lord of War, Blood Diamond, and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.

User avatar
goblin_subway
Posts: 351
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:40 pm UTC
Location: Kansas City, Kansas, USoA, Earth, Sol System, Milky Way Galaxy

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby goblin_subway » Sun May 04, 2008 4:03 am UTC

And... I am done. This is a discussion that, after I have done further research, I am far too ill-informed to participate in. I admit my ignorance and bow out.
I am Jack's overused quote.
...
Oh, almost forgot. Fuck MENSA.

User avatar
SabreKGB
Posts: 211
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:29 am UTC

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby SabreKGB » Sun May 04, 2008 4:54 am UTC

@cooley

A good contrast would be Brazil. Most of it's interior is thick(est) jungle and dangerous rivers, etc. Now, while it's not first world, it's certainly doing better than Africa as a whole. A reason for this would be that, as a political unit, it not only has those interiors, but also lots of coastline. Nations that are strictly interior will have it tougher. Still, is that one reason enough to explain the disparity, or is there more at play here? I'm inclined towards more.

Cooley
Posts: 398
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:53 am UTC
Location: Hemet, California
Contact:

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby Cooley » Sun May 04, 2008 5:06 am UTC

Agreed. I also believe there's more, but I would not like to see geography neglected. We Americans get enough of that in our public schools, thank you very much! :lol:

User avatar
Dream
WINNING
Posts: 4338
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:20 pm UTC
Location: The Hollow Scene Epic

Re: What happened to Africa?

Postby Dream » Sun May 04, 2008 5:07 am UTC

SabreKGB wrote:@cooley

A good contrast would be Brazil. Most of it's interior is thick(est) jungle and dangerous rivers, etc. Now, while it's not first world, it's certainly doing better than Africa as a whole. A reason for this would be that, as a political unit, it not only has those interiors, but also lots of coastline. Nations that are strictly interior will have it tougher. Still, is that one reason enough to explain the disparity, or is there more at play here? I'm inclined towards more.

Yes, and a fairly good reason too. Interior regions throughout the world are often less developed than coastal and border regions. I've always assumed this is largely because international trade and other economic activity is easier in the peripheral areas than in the interiors.

As to Brazil, the developed parts of that country are broadly situate on the coast, but the political unity allows the economic activity in the coastal regions to carry up the entire economy. (To an extent, of course, Brazil still has broad development issues.) This is untrue of, say, Mali, because why would anyone pass Mauritania or Senegal to get to Mali? The economic development of Senegal based on the ease of trade with its coastal region dosn't extend into Mali.

And yes, I'd say there's much more to it than just this.
I knew a woman once, but she died soon after.


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests