Africa, war and peace
African countries had a poor showing on the where-to-be-born index for 2013, while there are no surprises there what’s worrisome is war and conflict will drive them further down any future index. Mali’s ongoing, DRC never ended, CAR and the Sudans were on the brink and the others are one crisis, coup or election away from war. What’s really strange is the perpetual nature of these wars/conflicts. What sort of war lasts for 20 years? Leo Tolstoy cannot be right to think “if all men fought for their convictions, there will be no wars”, I am pretty sure the Mali islamists fight for nothing but their conviction which on its own is a battle cry that must not be ignored, and when war is declared on you, you apply the Roman maxim – “if you want peace, prepare for war”.
Victory for rebels in one country emboldens rebels in another…..it’s a vicious cycle, almost like a communicable disease that spreads resulting in a pandemic.
Stability and peace are necessary for a high quality of life in any nation, the best performing countries on the where-to-be-born index are not just prosperous but also peaceful. Switzerland has had 500 years of democracy and peace. Mauritius, the highest ranking African nation on the global peace index is located far from the continental shelf in the Indian ocean and has had 203 years of peace; immune to contagion, it prospers quietly. It doesn’t help that a number of current African heads of state were former rebel leaders themselves, unable to build democratic institutions that were unavailable to them when they fought to overthrow their predecessors, they cling to power for decades while orchestrating a semblance of democracy to legitimize their dictatorship. Some go as far as aiding rebels in neighbouring countries who are of the same ethnicity.
Unending conflict and the absence of peace will make any nation or region an undesirable place to be born. Some experts at the world bank say these conflicts are not due to religious, linguistic or ethnic diversity.
So what’s the cause?…….high levels of poverty, failed political institutions and economic dependence on natural resources.
Okay, I cannot disagree with that.
How did you find out?…….research studies employing modelling, simulation and probability.
Are you kidding me !