In the cold-war era, Africa became the battleground for super-power rivalry and many of the ills facing the continent can be traced to this period. It is only now that the developed world has woken up to the magnitude of the crisis engulfing Africa prompting the Tony Blair sponsored ‘Commission for Africa’ to note, “ African poverty and stagnation is the greatest tragedy of our time,” (Commission for Africa 2005, p 13).
There are some who question why the world should be so concerned about poverty and why the world community should contribute to Africa’s development when the same resources can be used domestically to improve the living standards of their own people. The answer is simple. Because Africa, where one child dies every second is a blot on our collective conscience. Prime Minister Tony Blair has spoken of “recognising the common bond of humanity”, as has Bob Geldof, the social activist, musician and brain behind the Live8 concert, “to extend the hand of sympathy and shared humanity to reach above the impenetrable roar and touch human beings on the other side (Commission for Africa 2005, p 66). To that extent the objectives of both Prime Minister Tony Blair and Live8 organiser, Bob Geldof seem to match.
There is also another factor; self-interest. In the post-9/11 era it has become more and more evident that poverty spawns terrorism and that terrorism is a global phenomenon that recognises no boundaries. Black holes such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) can and are becoming sanctuaries where terrorists can hatch their plans undisturbed by weak and inefficient governments. When such countries are themselves embroiled in conflict, as in the case of the DRC, where government control does not extend to the whole of the country, the situation is even more critical. Prime Minister Tony Blair also acknowledges this fact when he says it is imperative