Problemas en medio del desarrollo en el África emergente

NUEVA YORK – África está cambiando radicalmente, tanto como las actitudes de los extranjeros hacia ella: finalmente, Estados Unidos parece haberse decidido a igualar el nivel de interés de China, Europa e India por el continente. La reciente cumbre del Presidente Barack Obama con 40 jefes de estado y 200 líderes de los negocios estadounidenses y africanos parece indicar un estado de ánimo nuevo y más confiado. Resulta estimulante, pero mientras haya partes del África subsahariana que sigan sumidas en conflictos violentos, pobreza y corrupción, no se aprovechará todo el potencial económico del continente.

Las oportunidades comerciales y de crecimiento económico de África son atractivas e interesantes. La clase media de la región, compuesta por unos 300 millones de personas, está creciendo en más de un 5% al año. El consumo per cápita se acerca a los niveles de China y la India. África puede lograr el impulso de base amplia al desarrollo que tanto necesita si la inversión extranjera llega a sectores clave, como la educación, la sanidad y la infraestructura.

Pero la inversión y el crecimiento (“el ascenso de África”) son solamente una parte de la historia: gran parte del continente también sufre conflictos y crisis, en especial las decenas de millones de seres humanos que habitan en una franja de países desde Mali a Somalia. Incluso antes del brote de ébola en Liberia y Sierra Leona, Sudán del Sur, la República Centroafricana y Mali corrían el riesgo de sumarse a una larga lista de estados frágiles o fallidos del que ya forman parte Somalia y la República Democrática del Congo. Demasiado a menudo los conflictos étnicos, religiosos, económicos y de otros tipos dificultan los objetivos de alcanzar una gobernanza eficaz y proporcionar niveles básicos de servicios.

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