Should Christians Aid Africa?

Wars and Conflict in Africa (See Website)

The past six decades have seen over $1,000,000,000,000 (trillion) in aid sent to sub-Saharan Africa. [1] Despite this, per capita income is lower than it was in the 1970s. [2]

The African continent has deteriorated since the exodus of European colonial powers. Virtually all the infrastructure, economic growth, and educational gains made during the time of Euroethnic oversight have been reversed since the 1960s.

The one bright spot for the sub-Sahara region, South Africa, has plunged into chaos since the fall of Apartheid. Today, 25% of men in that country admit they've raped a women. [3] Real incomes have fallen more than 40%, [4] and genocide is being perpetrated against Euroethnic Afrikaners. [5]

When it comes to natural resources, Africa may be the richest region on earth. [6] However, the natives have proved incapable of taking advantage of this natural wealth.

This leaves Christians in a confusing situation. Aid allows us to be generous, but at the very least it is doing absolutely nothing for the African people (possibly even hurting them).

The question becomes one of stewardship. Does God want us to waste our money on an incurable ill, or would he rather us divert our gifts to more productive causes?

While we continue scattering money across Africa, there are billions of people in Asia and the Middle East who have never heard the gospel. We should be using our resources to help save their souls.

Many well-intentioned Christians have been distracted from other needy regions by scenes of squalor in the Heart of Darkness. These Christians have failed to realize that the physical poverty of Africa is as nothing to the spiritual poverty found in the Muslim world and the Far East.


NOTES

[1] Ika, Lavagnon. "Project Management for Development in Africa: Why Projects Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It." Project Management Journal. August, 2012. Accessed December 1, 2015. http://www.rlynn.co.uk/uploads/pdfs/Intelligence and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations.pdf.
EXCERPT:  "Ghana and South Korea had an almost equal per capita income in 1957 (US$490). Just 30 years ago, China lagged behind many African countries, including Malawi, Burundi, and Burkina Faso, on a per capita income basis. Yet, approximately US$1 trillion of aid has been transferred to Africa since the 1940s (Moyo, 2009)." [Africa was prosperous only under European management]
EXCERPT: “Still others argue that it [aid] is actually part of the problem or even the problem and thus it should be cut in half (Calderisi, 2007) or even entirely (Moyo, 2009).”

[2] Sala-I-Martin, Xavier. "The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and . . . Convergence, Period." Columbia University. October, 2005. Accessed December, 2015. http://www.columbia.edu/~xs23/papers/pdfs/World_Income_Distribution_QJE.pdf
EXCERPT: "The spectacular reduction of worldwide poverty hides the uneven performance of various regions of the world. East and South Asia account for a large fraction of the success. Africa, on the other hand, seems to have moved in the opposite direction. The dismal growth performance of the African continent has meant that poverty rates and headcounts have increased substantially over the last three decades. The implication is that where poverty was mostly an Asian phenomenon thirty years ago (87 percent of the world's poor lived in East and South Asia), poverty is, today, an essentially African problem (68 percent of the poor live in Africa whereas only 18 percent live in Asia)."

[3] Smith, David. "Quarter of Men in South Africa Admit Rape, Survey Finds." The Guardian. June, 2009. Accessed December 1, 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/jun/17/south-africa-rape-survey.
EXCERPT: "One in four men in South Africa have admitted to rape and many confess to attacking more than one victim, according to a study that exposes the country's endemic culture of sexual violence. Three out of four rapists first attacked while still in their teens, the study found. One in 20 men said they had raped a woman or girl in the last year. South Africa is notorious for having one of the highest levels of rape in the world. Only a fraction are reported, and only a fraction of those lead to a conviction."

[4] Balls, Andrew. "Why South African Incomes Declined." The National Bureau of Economic Research. Accessed December 6, 2015. http://www.nber.org/digest/jan06/w11384.html.
EXCERPT: "In Incomes in South Africa Since the Fall of Apartheid (NBER Working Paper No. 11384), co-authors Murray Leibbrandt, James Levinsohn, and Justin McCrary document that decline and attempt to explain what has happened. They show that average incomes of South African men and women fell by about 40 percent between 1995 and 2000, and note that there has been little improvement since then."

[5] "South Africa." Genocide Watch. Accessed November, 2015. http://www.genocidewatch.org/southafrica.html.

[6] Mannak, Miriam. "Development-Africa: Why The Richest Continent Is Also The Poorest." Inter Press Service. September 1, 2008. Accessed December 6, 2015. http://www.ipsnews.net/2008/09/development-africa-why-the-richest-continent-is-also-the-poorest/.
EXCERPT: "Africa is known as one of the richest parts of the world when it comes to natural resources, yet it is also the poorest region – despite the natural wealth and the aid flow," said Charles Mutasa, executive director of the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD) – a Zimbabwe-based NGO working on Africa's debt problem."