Where we DO Something Constructive about Poverty in Africa !!!
The Real Reasons for Sub Saharan Africa's Poor Economic Development.
To the Poor of Africa, Where are you Going? by XX Huguenot
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If we compare the Per Capita Gross National Income (GNI) of the countries of Sub Saharan Africa we find 5 statistical outliers with a GNI per capita in excess of $3000 during 2008. We call them the Exceptionals.
Two of these are Indian Ocean Islands, Seychelles and Mauritius. Both with relatively small populations. Mauritius, being the most populous at almost 2 million, is home to a mixture of people of African, Indian, Chinese and French origin. While Seychelles with about 80 thousand house a similar mixture of ancestry.
The other three countries dominate the Southern tip of Africa. These being South Africa with a population of close to 50million, Namibia with about 2 million and sandwiched in between them Botswana also with a population of about 2 million. The Exceptionals account for about 7% of the total Sub Saharan Population and almost half it's Economic activity.
South Africa on it's own accounted for more than 44% of the Sub Sahara African GNI during 1993. The ANC came into power in it's first fully democratic elections during 1994.
The question why these countries are so exceptional is answered in the book.
By 2008, after 14 years of ANC rule, South Africa accounted for marginally more than 30% of the SSA total GNI.
Why this decline when during this period, capital outflows due to disinvestment that had applied before 1994. Became positive investment inflows? When active trade restrictions against South African manufactured goods changed to encouragement?
When we go to the Website of the World Bank and we extract some figures and do a few analyses we find that if we subtract the GNI of the Exceptionals from the total for Sub Sahara Africa and re-calculate it to per capita we get an average per capita GNI of only $614 pa.
Being me, I ask WHY?
What made these Economic Development Outliers of continental Africa so exceptional?
What do the three Exceptionals on the Continent of Africa have in common?
What differences caused them to be so far advanced in comparison with the rest of Sub Saharan Africa?
What happened in 1994 that triggered the erosion of this exceptionality of South Africa?
On a Saturday morning, at about 07:30 go to almost any street corner of an arterial route into any South African city's middle class residential areas. Stop and roll down your car window, within seconds the car will be surrounded by casual garden workers looking for a day-job, yours for the day till 16:30 or 17:00 at about R100 ($14-00).
Then you do some calculations and you realise that if this impoverished South African is only successful in getting a day-job once per week, his annual income is more than the average per capita GNI for the countries of Sub Sahara Africa excluding South Africa accounting for more than 90% of it's population. So today, despite the erosion mentioned previously, even impoverished South Africans are better off than the average Sub Saharan African.
Being me, I ask WHY?
Click HERE. This image was created by NASA from a large number of Satelite Images of the World. See the lights of the Cities, Towns and villages, densely distributed over North America, Europe, Japan, China, India. Look at Africa; apart from South Africa – very few lights, darkness. Then remember when you looked at the World bank website you saw that Sub Sahara Africa has almost a billion people- living their impoverished lives and dying prematurely in the dark.
Being me, I ask WHY?
Jefferson, in making the following key contribution to the Constitution of the United States of America, said that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” This is commonly interpreted as we are not only created equal, we are equal in every respect. Yes, all mankind were created equal so there is no room for discrimination ever.
Then, if we presume that economic development is a function of human output or creation. Then the only logical conclusion one can come to is that: All mankind may have been created equal, but the creations of all mankind are not equal. But over the last 50 years the goody two shoe liberals have contradicted this and called you a racist if you see a difference.
Being me, I ask WHY?
Review the history of the last 60,000 years. Mankind had evolved in Africa before the start of our review. According to the scenarios behind Mitochondrial Eve and the Journey of Man by Dr Spencer Wells. Both say that about 60,000 years ago, give or take a few thousand years, some of mankind left Africa and populated the world. Some of mankind remained in Africa. According to the DNA evidence backing the above “Stories” these two groups remained largely separate. Until about the 15th century when the Northern Hemisphere brand of mankind started exploring the South in earnest.
Northern Hemisphere climate during this period, initially 48,000 years of ice age followed by a 12,000 year interglacial - still with large parts of this territory covered by winter snow. African Climate appears to have been moderate at this time.
By the 16th century the first African Slaves were imported into Europe by the Portuguese, then into the Americas etc. In 1652 Jan van Riebeeck established a Charter colony in South Africa and for the first time the group of mankind who had left Africa 60,000 years ago met up with the group that had stayed in Africa and they had to share a single African habitat. A habitat that would develop into South Africa, a comparative African economic development exceptional or statistical outlier.
Yes, they were all Humans, that on superficial review carried different skin pigmentation, different hair types and colours, nose shapes, eye colours. Genetically, almost identical, not nearly different enough to be zoologically classified as different species. But at the time they were seen as different races by many.
Being me, I ask WHY?
Then the shock when I found that there was another portfolio of key differences between these two groups. But, not superficially visible.
The humans from the North had developed a number of development indicators in daily use. These are:
Reading and Writing,
Comparatively Advanced Education,
Knowledge of Science,
The indigenous people from Africa did not develop any of these indicators to similar levels during the time when they were apart. Yet the various Northern races, Europeans, Indian, Chinese, Japanese etc. had all developed a variety of different versions of these factors after leaving Africa 60,000 years ago.
Being me, I ask WHY?
The Bi-Ecology Theory of Human Cultural Development as proposed in my book puts all these facts into a perspective that at the same time explains the fundamental reasons for Africa's poverty. Why Africans and their politicians appear almost incapable of generating real economic development. AND. More importantly, it shows how the limitations on personal capacity brought about by the cultural predispositions that evolved in the easy survival ecology of Africa can be identified, and overcome.
The development of this theory or idea, at this stage, is described in this unique new non fiction book that is in the final stages of being published. There are unique elements to this book namely;
It is initially for sale only on the internet as a download-able .pdf file. Readers can download the introduction and the first few Chapters Free from this website , all you have to do is register. If after reading this they wish to purchase a .pdf file version of this book, it can be done for $10 here.
The title of the book is : To the Poor of Africa, Where are you going? By X X Huguenot. The key reasons for this unique publication process is to enable pioneer readers to do two things;
Firstly, to quickly and easily verify that the facts quoted in this book are applied properly. To make sure that the facts were not bent to suit the ideas but rather that the ideas are founded on the facts. Towards this, most of the multitude of references (300+) are hyper-linked to internet accessible information sources.
Secondly, Many superficial readers may initially want to accuse me of racist thinking and I would like to afford them the opportunity to show me the error in my thoughts, and provide me with with facts to back up their comments. Constructive comments, even if they destroy my idea, and their factual references will then be incorporated in the final version of the book that will be published conventionally.
This initial version of the book starts by reviewing Sub Sahara African poverty, lack of economic development, lack of global competitiveness and therefore limited growth prospects and finally it's present political situation including the government service delivery problems currently prevalent. It also reviews the few economically exceptional countries of Sub Sahara Africa and tries to find reasons for their exceptional performance. It asks the Question Why? and then postulates a thesis that at first sight seems racist.
However, when one considers the underlying Scientific and Economic Facts and you review the preliminary research results, things become thought provoking and there seems to be an opportunity for it being valid.
It discusses the Y chromosome and Mitochondrial DNA research underlying the idea in layman's language, simple enough for all to understand. It projects the reader's thoughts into the lifestyle of the African Aboriginal Hunter Herder Gatherers and the Northern Hemispherians and derives the key success factors required for survival in these environments. The Northern Hemispherians' struggle for survival against the challenges of survival in the harsh climatic conditions prevailing over the last 60 000 years. It describes how failure to successfully cope with the harsh environment killed those who failed to adapt to the conditions.
From these descriptions the book then derives the success lifeculture predispositions that were instilled in the peoples living in these two ecological environments. These predispositions are then extensively checked against practical examples from present-day Africa especially South Africa. The different thinking patterns deriving from the different lifecultures and their impact on Economic Development are extensively reviewed, to develop a clear understanding and from this a short check list of required corrective activities.
The book then reviews available data for indications as to the validity of the thesis and finds a significant body of data in support of it. It also proposes further research that should help establish or destroy the thesis.
Then, when you realise that the aim of this thesis is not to degrade Africans but to help Africans to grow from impoverished charity basket cases to become “world Class” equal partners in our present-day Global Economic world, the book becomes constructive. Especially so when the author evaluates himself in the light of the proposals.
I know that I am not the best written word communicator you have ever read. But, I am sure you will find that you frequently have to stop reading to give yourself an opportunity to consider the full implications of the facts presented. This is not a page flipper that binds your attention to a climax, nor is is an exercise in beautiful prose appreciation. But it is, a brain stirrer that makes one rethink many of your beliefs in the light of Scientific and Economic evidence.
Would I recommend this book? Frankly it would depend on you. If you are a “celebrity” reader who reads only to pick up a few of the latest trend words and book titles to name drop at your next celebrity gathering? No it is not for you. If you would like to be confronted with facts about Africa and Evolution for consideration? Then yes, then it is for you.
If your opinions and outlook on life is determined by the thoughts and beliefs of others, unthinkingly applied? No it is not for you. If you would like to review your considered opinions, maybe this is a good way of leaving the safe berths and stretching your envelope, to review your considered opinions and consider adapting them to reality.
As a Black friend said when he finished reading an early draft of this book “It is time for Blacks to stop playing the blame-game and to use this book to find what they can DO to improve themselves.
I look forward to your comments.
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Last Updated (Monday, 28 May 2012 14:14)