Gold. The driving force behind human misery. Corruption, greed and war is just some of the notorious results of gold. Does it then come as a surprise that the continent that has the most gold, and even more precious minerals, is also the continent that is plagued by misery the most?
One can of course argue that Africa was miserable before the discovery of gold, and that African misery is rather the cause of more inherant shortcomings, such as cultural flaws or even race. Although it might be true to some extent, that type of argument, on its own, falls rather short, since it is not only blacks but also European-Africans who constantly falls victim to misery. The Boer-Afrikaners is one such example, being targeted for genocide at least two times (firstly during the Anglo Boer war by the British, and now by the ANC). Those who are familiar with the Anlgo Boer War would know that this war was ignited by the Imperialist British Government's greed for South Africa's minerals.
Numerous African governments have been made and toppled (by non-African countries) in order to take control of this continent's mineral wealth. During the last few decades, the communist countries such as Russia, China and Cuba have displayed a growing interest in Africa. Many wars in Africa have been fought with communist-supplied weapons, the weapon of choice being the Russian AK-47. The west, whose investments in Africa have been mainly through companies such as Anglo American, have slowly but surely lost control of it's mineral-investments to the Chinese.
More recent power-plays for Africa's wealth by the Chinese government includes strengthening trade-relations with Southern African countries, including Zimbabwe. One often wonders why Mugabe has not yet been overthrown, not only because of the atrocities he is committing, but also because the opposition party (MDC) has the majority of the western-countries' support. The not-so-obvious is the aid that he has received from the Chinese-government. Aid would include things like building him a new palace, scrambling opposition radio-transmissions and more dark tactics. In return, of course, they get to lay their hands on Zimbabwe's rich mineral deposits.
One can only wish that one day a few world leaders, who aren't obsessed with mineral wealth, will come to the rescue.