Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Peace unto Africa

The picture to the right is one of my favourite in my collection of African maps. Unfortunately, it is more aspirational than real. Nonetheless, the sentiment of a peaceful continent is one that we should all support. Peace in this case meaning the absence of violence not merely the absence of armed conflict between states and armies. While the nadir of post colonial repression has largely passed in Africa, countries like Togo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Angola still remain far away from the ideal of liberal democratic republics that respect human rights. However, despite having failed to achieve utopia in the wake of independence, Africa is not nearly as nightmarish as portrayed in the western media. Famine, child soldiers, and civil war are not universal to the continent. They exist in isolated areas. There has never been famine or civil war in Ghana for instance. Indeed, Ghana is a much nicer place to live than many places in the US or Europe. It doesn't have the insanely high violent crime rate of most large US cities or the blatantly racist xenophobia that dominates most European societies.

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