Everyone knows about the recent oil and gas discoveries of Africa in recent years and the influx of foreign investors in the region. According to an estimate of the financial experts of World Bank in 2006, the oil revenues of Africa were expected to increase by a $200 billion between 2000-2010. But why is it that the masses are still wallowing in poverty and abject misery? Are only a chosen few reaping the benefits of the new discoveries in the African natural resources? Creating translation jobs could be a solution, though other measures need to be taken by the African governments.
It is indeed a sad state of affairs that the whole continent is in the grip of poverty and half of the population on the continent is still living abominable lives with no decent jobs, no education for their kids, no health facilities and an uncertain, bleak future. Where the recent investments have created thousands of jobs for the literates, still an alarming percentage of the African population is getting no share in the benefits reaped by the other half of the population. Human rights activists have shown their concern over this situation. There are families sustaining themselves on less than $1 dollar per day and one can imagine about the living standard they would have.
The land of Africa is abound with natural resources but an unequal distribution of them has resulted in high poverty rate. All African countries are battling with poverty including Nigeria, Sudan, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo to name a few. With foreign investors and excavators coming to the region, the more literate ones can be offered jobs as French, Portuguese and even Spanish translators whereas the less educated people can serve as interpreters on the field to communicate with the labor if not in official meetings. But due to illiteracy rate being high, not many poor Africans know a second language and they can only communicate in their regional dialects.
The African governments need to wake up from their slumber and address the needs of their people by offering them jobs, decent housing schemes, health insurance and education for their kids. Food deficiency and malnutrition in African kids has always been a problem for Africa. It is high time to solve these long standing issues to alleviate the misery of the local populace. The developed nations coming for investments in Africa also need to communicate with the common African people and to bring them on-board with the recent developments in the economies of their countries. The common African man feels resentment towards the foreign investors because the foreign investment has widened the gap between the rich and the poor. Professional and certified translators working in Africa have this great responsibility on their shoulders, to interact with the local public and communicate their concerns and problems to the foreign investors who can then play their part in taking small measures for the local masses. But the African governments cannot be absolved of their responsibility towards the poverty-ridden masses of their countries.
Nepotism is rife in the African governments where politicians like to reward their supporters, family members and friends after coming into power, resulting in “big governments” which the region cannot afford at the moment. Corruption is another factor involved in the present decrepit condition of half of the African population. It has been recently reported that foreign investors bribe the government officials in African countries to obtain permits etc.
A change should come for all and not for a chosen few because it then results in political instability and unrest among the population which would prove to be a big obstacle in carrying out trade and foreign investment agreements with the developed nations.