Un África a la que se puede salvar

La Cumbre del G-8 que se celebrará en Escocia a primeros de julio reunirá a los dirigentes políticos de los países más ricos para que examinen la difícil situación de los países pobres. Hasta ahora, el Presidente George W. Bush se ha resistido al llamamiento del Primer Ministro Blair para duplicar la ayuda a África de aquí a 2010. Se trata de un error trágico, resultante de la incomprensión de las amenazas que afronta África y de las obligaciones de los Estados Unidos.

La política americana se basa abrumadoramente en la idea de que África puede superar su extrema pobreza por sus propios medios, de que se hace un uso indebido de la mayor parte de la ayuda por la corrupción y de que los Estados Unidos conceden ya cantidades generosas. Es falso en todos los sentidos: África está atrapada en la pobreza, muchos países están bien situados para usar la ayuda de forma eficaz y la contribución de los Estados Unidos es diminuta en relación con las necesidades de África y las promesas y riqueza de aquel país.

África padece simultáneamente tres problemas que la mantienen atrapada en la pobreza. En primer lugar, África no produce alimentos suficientes. A diferencia de Asia, África no tuvo una “revolución verde” en materia de producción de alimentos. En 1965, la India obtenía, por término medio, 854 kilogramos de grano por hectárea sembrada, mientras que el África subsahariana obtenía casi lo mismo: 773 kilogramos por hectárea. Pero en 2000 la India producía 2.293 kilogramos por hectárea, mientras que África producía sólo 1.118.

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