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African Problems

Police forces are inadequately manned, paid, equipped and trained, weapon controls are rare, and urban crime and corruption are increasing. Physical and sexual abuse of women and children is common and goes largely unreported.
Local languages and cultural diversity are being lost as Africa is westernised.
Most African countries are heavily in debt and run a budget deficit, and a large portion of the national budget must go to paying interest at high rates. Debt payments by Africa exceed foreign aid payments to Africa.
Forests are destroyed for firewood and farmland, reducing the world's oxygen supply and hastening desertification. Almost all forests may be gone in 50 years. Many species of tropical plants and animals are being driven to extinction.
Although 90% of the world's AIDS cases are in Africa, diseases of the rural poor like malaria, yellow fever, bilharzia, sleeping sickness and cholera claim many more lives and cause more economic damage. Diseases like polio, measles, leprosy and the bubonic plague, eliminated from most of the rest of the world, can still be found in Africa.
Africa has a large disabled population, estimated at 10% and much worse in war-torn countries, whose rights are not being protected and who are generally confined to poverty and unemployment. The use of land mines continues to disable people long after the war finishes, especially in Angola and Mozambique.
A majority of Africans are illiterate. Only a tiny percentage have a university education.
Human Rights
Few African countries have stable democracies. Many states suppress any opposition to the ruling party, banning free speech and detaining dissenters.
Women do the majority of agricultural labour but only own a small portion of the land. In many cultures, they are not permitted to inherit property. There are many unwanted teenage pregnancies, and abortion is still illegal in some countries.
Children spend too much time working and fighting wars instead of learning in school.
Although the continent produces enough food to feed everyone, not everyone has access to it. Famines periodically strike many parts of the continent. Although starvation is not a common cause of death, malnutrition is related to disease, mental retardation and unemployment, and the majority of Africans are affected by hunger in some way.
The wealth is distributed far more unevenly than in developed countries. For example, the average white-skinned African of European descent is dozens of times richer than the average African. Despite the end of Apartheid, the minority whites in South Africa continue to dominate the economy.
In many countries, the annual inflation exceeds 10%, and the currencies in some countries is virtually worthless.
Life Expectancy
Infant mortality rates are high, and life expectancy is decades below that of the West, due to war, disease and poverty.
As the population explodes, cities are becoming overcrowded and polluted, natural resources are becoming strained, and shortages of energy, food and water are a constant threat. Any gains in economic growth are lost when distributed among more people, so the average person becomes poorer.
Very few Africans have escaped poverty. The average African only has a tiny fraction of what the average American has, and by Western standards, nearly all Africans are poor. There are about as many US states as African countries, but on average each state is about one third as large, has half the population, and about ten times the wealth.
Substance Abuse
Alcoholism is a terrible, largely unexamined and untreated problem. Sales of other drugs are small but increasing in cities. Drugs are used to make soldiers kill without hesitation or conscience.
About 20 percent of African cities are unemployed, and a much larger number are underemployed.
There has not been a single day of peace in Africa since before most African countries gained independence from colonialism. Wars between nations, civil wars, coups, and religious and ethnic conflicts affect nearly every African country to some degree. Children are in the front lines because they are not as restrained as adults are by ethics, knowledge or fear.