In totality, the African continent and the Sub-Saharan region in particular, has gone through multitudes of unprecedented episodes, punctuated by untold human sufferings like; hunger, abductions, murders, loss of property, mal-nutrition and diseases.
Some have come due to self induced reasons, while others have not, but what is cross-cutting is the fact that all countries are still nursing the wounds of those pathetic times.
These unfortunate times, were mainly brought about by various factors but all embedded in bad governance.
It is wrong to blame Africa’s political and economic turmoil on policies left behind by the colonialists. What did we do when we took over control of our countries? We got embroiled in civil wars!
The civil wars have had far reaching negative impact on the countries, where they have taken place. The impacts of these wars however, differ in magnitude, depending on context, and ideologies behind the war.
The civil wars and genocide that Africa has undergone through have left serious negative social, economic and political impacts.
Many people’s lives were profoundly devastated, many economies left in shambles, human rights violated, etcetera.
The Angolan civil war for example, which started in 1975, left more than 500,000 people dead, in its 25 years. This conflict, which started immediately after Angola’s attainment of independence from Portugal, was a result of dissatisfactions from different groups, about president Dos Santos’s rule. And the Rwandan Tutsi genocide that left more than a million dead left a lot of problems behind that the country is still nursing today.
The insurgencies had a subtle impact on these countries’s economy and there is great need of money to rehabilitate the ruined systems.
Wars have left most of the countries affected with a situation of persistent poverty.
Civil wars, place a country in many dire situations, which make it difficult to recover.
For example, a damage caused by an insurgency that that has lasted for three months can take a country many years to recover.
Wars scare away potential investors, yet they are critically needed after such a time. This has consequently deterred such countries from economic prosperity.
Furthermore, wars have plundered human resources. They affected the youth which is the most important group as far as production is concerned. The ages between 15 and 45 are the active ones in terms of production. It is therefore dangerous to find a population left with babies and the old, because they are not productive.
In most cases during the times these wars are raging, it is difficult for people to engage it agricultural productions, or any other forms of production, due to the fact that they have to run and hide to save dear lives.
This has ushered in starvation and full-scale hunger, in all war ravaged areas.
African civil wars are also characterized by burning and destruction of production systems, such as industries, factories, schools, plantations, and other forms of reckless and destructive activities on many infrastructures.
Ironically, rebels in fighting governments have cited protection and proper preservation of these structures, as one of their prime reasons for fighting.
But it is absurd to find them embark on destroying them. This has taken countries miles back as far as development is concerned.
Countries that have had civil wars, have suffered huge external debts, which have taken them ages to pay back, others have not even managed to pay back.
The prevalence of these wars in many African countries has ushered in untold insecurity, stemming from a situation where arms get to be on the loose.
This makes outlaws access them easily, hence using them in raids and robberies and this has continued to increase insecurity in the region.
This region of Africa has as a result lost foreign trust and its reputation abroad was reduced, a thing that has affected its foreign exchange earning potentials.
Certain crucial sectors such as tourism and leisure have been highly compromised. This happens because tourists and other foreign visitors are correctly skeptical about coming to insecure places.
A number of examples attest to this assertion and one of them was when; some tourists were attacked and killed in Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable forest.
Civil wars in Africa have also led to increased occupation of refugees and internally displaced people.
This phenomenon has been very difficult and expensive to contain by countries in question.
The IDP’s have also ushered in unique problems, such as poor sanitation, which has led to related epidemics like cholera, and fast spreading of STD’s mostly HIV/AIDS.
Such secondary consequences of civil wars, have taken those countries colossal amounts of resources to overcome.
Unfortunately, it has been widely noticed, that foreign countries have always had a hand in the occurrence of many civil wars in Africa.
But for how long are we going to remain blind folded and continue to dance according to the tune of our former masters? It all starts when these countries (African) start seeing everything foreign as unique and very important. A given African country is never satisfied with the ability of its citizens to perform and in most cases opt for foreign help. And when the foreign help comes from the rich west then drums shout. This is our great undoing and unfortunately we have failed to come out of it. It is as imaginable as that!
However, multiple peace deals have been signed, and anti-war conventions ratified to, regarding finding a long lasting solution to civil wars in Africa.
We are therefore called to remain optimistic and hope that history won’t repeat itself.