POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY GEOFFREY YORK IN TORONTO'S GLOBE AND MAIL
There are good reasons Africa is so poor, and they have little to do with colonialism.
Africa's governments, almost typically, are irresponsible and short-sighted and corrupt.
The laws and customs in many places are antithetic to modern society too.
Capital goes where it is welcome and safe, and generally that is not Africa.
Also, capital comes in several forms, including financial, physical plant, and human.
Human capital - an educated and ambitious and hardworking population - is key just to the good use of financial and physical capital.
This is missing to a great extent in Africa.
A country like Japan, basically a set of rocks in a sea, became advanced owing to its human capital, an educated population with a good work ethic and one with the kind of technical skills needed in advanced society.
China, too, after casting off its dark ages of communist religion, is booming owing to the innate intellectual gifts and traditional values of its people.
Africa's people remain stuck in tribalism and immense superstition. For example, it is Africa that is home to female genital mutilation, about 3 million young women every year suffer this mad ritual.
Africa has poor infrastructure, including roads, hospitals, good quality schools, etc.
That fact plus the relatively poor state of human capital and the poor governance do not promise a bright, progressive future.
China is doing some remarkable things in Africa, doing them because it wants to secure resources.
The understand Africa's shortcomings, and they try to build support for their investments there.
But already there are mumblings about the Chinese "running things."
How long can it be before they too are sent packing?