Os problemas da África emergente

NOVA IORQUE – A África está a mudar radicalmente - tal como estão a mudar as atitudes de terceiros em relação a esta região; veja-se os EUA que parecem finalmente determinados a juntar-se à China, à Europa e à Índia no que diz respeito ao interesse pelo continente. A cimeira realizada recentemente entre o Presidente dos EUA, Barack Obama, 40 chefes de Estado africanos e mais de 200 líderes empresariais norte-americanos e africanos sugere uma atitude nova e mais confiante, o que é encorajador. No entanto, enquanto houver regiões da África subsariana onde persistem as situações de conflitos violentos, pobreza e corrupção, o potencial económico do continente não será plenamente realizado.

O crescimento económico e as oportunidades comerciais de África são factores empolgantes e aliciantes. A forte classe média da região, que compreende 300 milhões de pessoas, regista um crescimento anual superior a 5%. O continente tem uma posição de liderança em matéria de serviços bancários móveis. As despesas de consumo per capita estão próximas dos níveis registados na Índia e na China. Se o investimento estrangeiro, em parceria com o forte sector privado do continente, puder beneficiar os sectores-chave, em particular os sectores da educação, da saúde e das infra-estruturas, a África poderá conseguir o amplo impulso de desenvolvimento de que o seu povo necessita.

No entanto, o investimento e o crescimento – a "África em ascensão" - são apenas parte da história. Há também a África em luta, que se debate com conflitos e crises que afectam grande parte do continente, especialmente as dezenas de milhões de pessoas que vivem na faixa de países que vão desde o Mali até à Somália. Ainda antes do recente surto do vírus Ébola ocorrido na Libéria e na Serra Leoa, o Sul do Sudão, a República Centro-Africana (RCA) e o Mali estavam em risco de integrar uma longa lista de Estados frágeis ou em colapso que já inclui a Somália e a República Democrática do Congo. Os conflitos étnicos, religiosos, económicos e de outra natureza que se desenrolam nestes países ensombram com demasiada frequência os objectivos de uma governação eficaz e da prestação dos serviços mais básicos.

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