It is not by coincidence that the wealthier nations were colonisers and imperialists and that Africa, the second largest but the least developed of the continents, has an historical heritage of slavery and colonial exploitation, with adverse terms of trade and post-colonial need for loans, and bribes, disguised as aid.
Long live the African Union. Its historical inauguration in Durban in early July could be said to be not only the realisation of a pan-Africanist dream, but the goal for which the explicitly named Organisation of African Unity had been created 39 years before. Yet, instead of being hailed by the rest of the world as an admirable proof of political sequence and determination, it went almost unnoticed, or even derided by most of the world media. This applied to even many Africans who have not awaken from the racial self-doubt that the misreading of history and the biased post-colonial reporting still induce.
Despite the fact that the very impending enlargement of the EU and the expansion of trading blocs in the Americas and Asia have made the development of the AU imperative, the scepticism might still be another sign that some still prefer Africa to remain divided into "spheres of influence" or "marginalised", than united in the defence of its common interests.
When you read that small Belgium has a GDP higher than that of all Africa south of the Sahara, or small Portugal, after only 16 years of full membership of the EU has attained a GDP bigger than that of South Africa, don't jump into conclusions as to the causes of the contrasting African poverty.
As it has been known since time immemorial, rich and poor families have unequal heritage. The wealthy need to be too stupid to become poor, the poor need a heroic effort to rise above their impoverished heritage. The same applies to regions, nations, races and continents.
Even individual stories of rags to riches, or the success of multi-billionaires to accumulate assets bigger than those of the tens of the poorest African countries, although related to individual achievement, is also related to the collective wealth and development of the national or multinational wealth of the markets in which they operate. It is not by coincidence that the wealthier nations were colonisers and imperialists and that Africa, the second largest but the least developed of the continents, has an historical heritage of slavery and colonial exploitation, with adverse terms of trade and post-colonial...