Week 5: Mali & Senegal

source: takepart.com

Molly Melching is a Cheetah of Senegal. She is the executive director of ‘Tostan’, an NGO which brings “sustainable development and positive social transformation based on respect of human rights.” According to her biography, she moved to Senegal in 1974 as an exchange student with an emphasis in community development. In 1991, she founded Tostan, to “advance a community empowerment program built on respectful engagement of village members, work with traditional learning methods in local languages, and facilitating community ownership of the development process.” She won an award at the 2010 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship and she continues to work in Senegal.

source: elmundo.es

Saloum Traore is a cheetah in Mali. According to his biography on Freedom House, “his involvement with human rights began before the country’s 1968 military coup. In 1992, he became a co-founder of Amnesty International-Mali, with Traore becoming secretary general of the national office and then executive director.” As a human rights defender, his involvement in Amnesty International works toward social justice, education, and human rights.

source: crcna.org\

Though there are many obstactles in raising SSA countries out of poverty, there are several that are especially prominent. Sachs mentions some in his book,

1. Poor rural villages: If they never expand and move up the ladder, it causes a lack of access to paved roads, power generators, irrigational channels, and trucks.

2. Low human capital: disease, starvation, and lack of literacy abound. Natural capital is also depleted where soils are no longer fertile and trees have all been destroyed. The villages need more capital but the economy doesn’t allow for the people to save for the future. Also, the demographic trap of poor families with a lot of children can cause a never ending cycle of extreme poverty, since the children will continue the cycle of having many children– and so on. This causes a lack of adequate healthcare and cultural implications towards women contribute to the demographic trap.

3. Physical geography: landlocked areas without an access to the coast, rivers, or harbors. Arid and Tropical regions also carry their respective diseases such as Malaria.

4. Cultural barriers: When societies limit womens’ contributions to society by denying education/ rights– it  causes societies to only depend on men for their economy. Also, when ethnic minorities are prevented from participating and contributing to society,  trade barriers and geopolitics limit a nations’ options.

5. HIV/AIDS: The costs that HIV/AIDS has had on Africa’s economy have been extremely damaging.. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has an impact on labor supply, increased mortality and morbidity. The ripple effect of losing skills that are in demanding industries are scarce. The long period illness associated with AIDS greatly reduces labor productivity. These costs reduce comptetion in the market and profits not only on a national level but also most notably in the global market. That’s hwen tgovernment incomes sharply decline, as tax revenues fall and governments are pressured to increase spending to deal with the rising prevalence of AIDS, creating the potential for economic crises.

6. Malaria: Malaria and poverty are intimately connected due to factors such as climate, colonial history, and geographical isolation. While Malaria has the capability of becoming a lethal protozoan disease, it is very treatable with the right medicine and resources.


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