According to the United Nations, Africa has the lowest human development rating among other continents. A total of 187 countries are listed. The last two include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has been ravaged by conflict. Another country is Niger, greatly affected by the drought.
The Vatican hosted an international symposium to discuss precisely why Africa needs fair assistance.
CARD. LAURENT MONSENGWO PASINYA
Archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
"It's important for those who go to Africa to not just invest, but to create industries. If this happens then Africa's natural resources can be transformed and it won't be as costly when these industries expand to Europe for example. If not, what happens is that when industries go back and forth to Africa they keep European prices and so the cycle of poverty is continued.”
Speakers noted that Africa has a lot of natural resources and also human capital that should be combined to design a stronger economic model.
UN Envoy Sahel Desert
"If there's no push from the very bottom, there will never be development. The human energy here is positive. Africa exports brain power so that's not really a problem for the continent. The problem is creating good work conditions throughout Africa.”
Italian Minister for Integration and Cooperation
"I talked about the so called pluralistic individual, so about multiple identities. This is a concept that we must individually foster. We must tap into our inner wealth and also strengthen the role of women and really that of all people so that we can give substance to the projects we consider.”
There are different solutions out on the table and many of them are interconnected. Speakers noted that international aid and assistance are a common denominator, along with education, instilling values, fighting against corruption and vowing for peace, instead of conflict.