De-pauperization: a panacea for African socio-political instability

Ogunkoya, Jolley Oladotun (2009) De-pauperization: a panacea for African socio-political instability. Information, society and justice journal, 2 (2). pp. 183-195. ISSN 1756-1078


The human society is a system, the main elements of which are the people in it. Man is the subject of economic, historical and political processes in the society. But one major “monster” that perpetually haunts mankind is poverty. Its effects are more amplified in Africa where war, backwardness, distress, starvation and instability have almost become parts of the people’s culture. As a result, the term “Africa” seems to be synonymous with poverty and backwardness. To many, the continent is a conglomeration of nations swimming aimlessly in abject poverty, with its activities being monitored by the superpowers. This paper identifies what I choose to call “pauperism” as the main cause of the socio-economic problems that threaten the attainment of peace in Africa. Pauperism, here, is the doctrine or orientation that encourages policies that aimed at keeping the poor perpetually in a degrading position in order to create and maintain a gap between him and the rich. This is done in many ways; through government policies, economic means and domination in various forms. Essentially pauperism is a multi-dimensional phenomenon. At the international level, pauperism consists in the impoverishment of some developing countries by some privileged individuals or countries. This is done mostly by making such pauperized nations politically unstable, economically stagnant, and disallowing them space for meaningful development. I therefore posit that until this monstrous attitude is changed, there would be no peace, social justice, stability and socioeconomic development in Africa. Therefore, this paper proposes the adoption of “depauperization” as an effective antidote to the epidemics of poverty and instability in Africa. This device depicts a paradigm shift which will involve both the Africans and the different powers concerned. The change must be total and final, and its principles must be enforceable across the globe in order to guarantee its effective implementation, with a view to making peace a permanent feature in Africa.

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