Las ciencias y la salvación de Africa

Africa es un continente rico en biodiversidad, en recursos minerales, en piedras preciosas. También es rico en conocimientos tradicionales, sobre todo los que tienen que ver con plantas locales y medicinales.

Sin embargo, Africa es también un continente pobre. Con cerca del 13% de la población mundial, tiene apenas el 1% de la riqueza. Aproximadamente el 50% de la población de Africa vive en la pobreza y el 40% padece de hambre y desnutrición. Dos terceras partes de la tierra del continente están desgastadas y más de la mitad de la población vive sin agua potable. La malaria amenaza a muchas regiones y el VIH/SIDA ha devastado a la juventud de muchas naciones africanas, incluyendo a Botswana, Sudáfrica, Zimbabwe, donde aproximadamente el 25% de los adultos han contraído esta enfermedad mortal.

Existen profundas disparidades no sólo entre Africa y el resto del mundo, sino entre Africa y el resto del mundo en desarrollo. ¿A qué se debe esto? Hay muchos factores políticos, socioeconómicos y ambientales. Siglos de colonialismo extranjero seguidos por décadas de gobiernos autoritarios locales. Una crónica falta de transparencia en las transacciones económicas aunada con frecuencia a la corrupción. Un uso insostenible de los recursos naturales. Una participación marginal en la economía global.

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