¿Qué es lo que no funciona en el África subsahariana?

Los poderes económicos del mundo parecen estar cerrando filas por fin tras los esfuerzos para abordar la pobreza y el subdesarrollo económico mundiales. En el Foro Económico Mundial de este año, dentro del G-8 y en otras instancias, el consenso sobre la necesidad de hacer algo ha sido tan claro como digno de beneplácito, pero, para algunas de las regiones más pobres del mundo, en particular el África subsahariana (ASS), un compromiso de ayuda puede no ser suficiente.

Los indicadores básicos del desarrollo económico y social muestran que el ASS está muy rezagada respecto de otras zonas en desarrollo. La renta media por habitante de los países del ASS en 2000 fue menos de la mitad de la correspondiente a todos los países en desarrollo, el 40 por ciento, aproximadamente, del nivel de los países en desarrollo del Asia oriental y del Pacífico y menos del 25 por ciento del de los países de América Latina y el Caribe.

Asimismo, la esperanza de vida al nacer en los países del ASS presentaba un retraso de 16 años respecto de la media de los países en desarrollo, 14 años respecto de los países del Asia meridional y 21 años respecto de los países del Asia oriental, América Latina y el Caribe. En materia de matrícula total combinada en las enseñanzas primaria, secundaria y superior, los países del ASS se encontraban el 19 por ciento por debajo de la media de los países en desarrollo, el 11 por ciento por debajo de los países del Asia meridional, el 29 por ciento por debajo del Asia oriental y el Pacífico y el 32 por ciento por debajo de América Latina y el Caribe.

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