The catalyst for hardship & misery on the African continent does not come from Africa itself. At the point when the first Europeans began to “open up” Africa as an economic and power space, the average African was as rich or as poor as the typical European countryman. There was not a real difference in wealth.
"Africa was completely independent"
Africa has neither asked Europe to come, nor shown any special interest in the lifestyle of Europeans. Simply because it would not have brought any advancement.
That was bad for the Europeans, since they needed cheap labour & slaves, military & trade bases, and certain products.
The solution of the “problem” was the systematic destruction of the old-established and well working African cultures, as well as the oppressive inclusion of the Africans into the European economic system.
The principles of this problem still exist today. Maybe nowadays more hidden an more difficult to detect.
To the same degree Europe could thus advance its development (plantation economy of the Caribbean, extension of trade structures), Africa decreased.
The gap in wealth started to generate!
The European industrialisation was funded by the capital, obtained through the sugar cane plantations of the Caribbean & the Americas, through stolen gold & precious metals of the old South-America or through yields from the trade with slaves, ivory and natural rubber.
What led me to my opinion does not just come from my own, personal experience and observations during my travels in Africa. Even though it was already well visible that Africans with their abilities don’t have to hide behind Europeans.
My view is also well influenced from studying many books and writings.
(Jared Diamond, Gerald Capral, Mike Davis, Alfred W. Crosby, Adam Hochschild, Walter Eberlei, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Christopher A. Bayly, Chinua Achebe, Dominic Johnson, Peter Scholl-Latour…)
The tragedy of Africa lies in the continuing exploitation through the industrialized nations. Nowadays with more hidden fashions.
For example through the corruption of the African elite by the European politics and leadership, with the aim of gaining favoured access to raw materials. With an effect of failing participation for the African population and the stabilisation of autocrat rulers.
Or through “support” for African states and warlords (legally or illegally) for the exploitation of raw materials in a more than doubtful way. Possibly via “security companies” to eliminate refractory communities. Or just by the acceptance of devastating excavation methods, unacceptable for humans and nature if used in the own home country.
Also a trade policy by the western world, which weakens Africa in production and trade.
Plus international (western dominated) organisations, claiming a trade policy that would be completely unacceptable for their own (western) home countries and populations. And which has advantages just for the powerful countries and obstructs Africa in its development.
About development aid:
In my opinion the so called “development aid” serves mainly the donor countries:
- as part of a “bypass” foreign policy
- as part of a “bypass” economic policy
The main part of the fund flows back (direct or indirect) to the donor countries. Assumedly a big part of this “support” has more disadvantages for the black continent than advantages.