Africa poor or rich?
Africa as an attraction
I recently watched a conversation in an FB group, which was stirred up by photographs of the world's largest Christian building in Côte d'Ivoire. It seemed very controversial to some, and it was not a good idea for him to have such a lavish building in a poor country. I was quite disappointed by this opinion. At first I wanted to get involved in the discussion, but in the end I changed my mind and preferred to look at some facts and think about why we still associate Africa with poverty and do not see the other side.
Documents about slums and natives are a matter of course for us, which belongs to Africa. We do not see any contradiction in them. The Internet is flooded with photos of white tourists who have fulfilled their dream and enjoyed a vacation somewhere in Africa, where they took pictures with local natives, in poor villages with children in ragged clothes with noodles on their noses and flies on their bodies, or with an elephant in a safari park. For many, these are attractive images that they can boast together with a story about terrible poverty. Why are photographs of the African slum attractive to us, and we are offended by something that deviates from the standard of poor Africa and has some value?
Facts Africa vs Europe
There are a total of fifty-three states on the African continent and about 9.6% of the population live on the brink of poverty. Within the EU, which includes 28 countries out of a total of 50 in Europe, about 2% of the population is on the brink of poverty. However, these figures do not include non-EU countries, which are among the poorest in Europe, such as Albania, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova. And just for comparison, in the Czech Republic around 1,000,000 people out of a total population of 10,701,777 live on the brink of poverty. But I don't just want to search the internet and look for facts.
Slums are not just a symbol of Africa
I decided to write these posts in order to show Africa from the other side at least a little and to dispel prejudices. I saw some interesting documentaries about Africa, which were full of wonderful reports with African natives, shots of nature and scary slums. I have also read many articles and stories about how Europeans help people who live in these areas. However, I have seldom seen a report from ghettos in Europe or America - and there are many !. Many of them are also in EU countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, France or Spain. Even a small country like the Czech Republic has more than 600 of them and over 127,000 people live in them! Including the youngest children. Of course, only these places in Europe look different than in Africa and are therefore not as attractive for tourists. But despite the differences, they are slums or ghettos, no matter what we call them. The result is the same.
World buildings and poverty
Despite the fact that we have these ghettos, that there are streets that you would not go out after dark, and you probably would not even believe that they are in our republic, we have the Dancing House, which became the ninth most beautiful building and which cost 360,000,000 crowns. . So let us stop judging whether or not it is okay when, in a poor country that is not even among the poorest, there is a building that occupies a leading position. What makes us unable to appreciate it ?!
Africa is growing economically. They are building new cities, improving infrastructure, building factories and slowly trying to get up. It is therefore quite normal that he also invests in buildings that are expensive but important to them for some reason and can thus represent the country in other than poverty.
From shacks to luxury
I myself was surprised by how modern and rich the Angola country is. And by wealth I don't just mean mineral wealth. The city includes not only slums, but beautiful new condominiums - closed satellites that can compete with even the most luxurious in the world. Two-storey villas with often nine rooms, three bathrooms, a terrace, beautiful gardens and a swimming pool, which is an integral part. There are several dozen more of these new parts in Angola. All of them have electricity, water supply with drinking water, internet, but also the most modern technologies of smart living, which so far only a select few have in our country. In addition to the satellites, which are guarded and can only be accessed with a permanent residence card, there are also open satellites where the houses are a little more modest, have a maximum of five rooms and the swimming pool is not standard. In recent years, several new housing estates have been built in Luanda, such as Kilamba, Zango and Sequele. Among the low but also ten-storey houses with an elevator are large green areas, a playground for children, a sandpit and benches. There are schools, kindergartens, hospitals, a swimming pool, restaurants, a cultural center and a local authority.
Slums are breaking down and people are moving for the better. What was once a luxury is now becoming the norm, only we Europeans still do not want to see it. Yes, taking pictures in the ghetto is more attractive to us than at a block of flats or a house that is the same as in Europe. The coast, which has always been a place for building slums, is a thing of the past and is being replaced by luxurious neighborhoods with stately homes. Africa is no longer just a shack and a mess.
Condominium: Jardim de Rosas, B oa Vida, Kilamba city, Sequele ...
Market place shopping center
In addition to small shops - canteens, there are several chains in Angola comparable to our Kaufland, Tesco, Globus or Albert. We are also not deprived of large capping centers, of which there are at least six in Luanda. Many shops in them offer goods from luxury world brands to ordinary commercial ones. You can buy TV and other electronic equipment with the latest technologies. Color TV, cell phone or microwave are a common part of every household. Just like with us, you can go shopping or to the beauty salon or eat in many restaurants after shopping. An inexhaustible number of luxury businesses could compete with those from Forejt, Kašpárek, or with three stars from Pohlreich. But of course there are a lot of the more ordinary, modest ones. All offer dishes not only typical of Angola, but also world cuisine and global fast food chains, including KFC.
Shopping centers: Bellas shopping Talatona, Xyami Kilamba, Shopping Avenida Talatona
Land Rover instead of camel
Just as Škoda is a common car for us, for Angolans it is Toyota. While in Europe the jeep is a luxury, in Angola it is the standard. The number of luxury showrooms that stand here is offered by cars of various makes and models, from small Hyundai to luxury BMW, Volvo or Ferrari. The electric car is also no longer unknown and is used by the local taxi service. The shots of several people sitting on one bike are a thing of the past. The camel with a donkey as a means of transport is also long gone. Here you will see children riding bikes around the housing estate or between houses. However, an adult is seldom.
From one-class to world education
Simple buildings where children of different ages gathered in one room to learn to read, write and count are a thing of the past. As the standard of living, shopping or traveling changes, so do education. A wide range of modern schools - whether public or private - offer children quality education. Today, parents can choose to put their child in a school that teaches under the American or European system. In addition to the basics, African children learn several world languages. Single classes are a thing of the past in cities. A computer, tablet or mobile phone is an integral part of almost every schoolboy. Today's children control their smartphones better than I do at the age of three. The X Box was also rolled over by Nintendo a few years ago, and the drone is not unknown.
Private school: https://opais.co.ao/index.php/2018/01/10/colegios-em-talatona-e-nova-vida-com-precos-a-doer/
All in one bag
So how is it? I cannot deny that there are the poorest countries in the world in Africa, there is also poverty in Angola. But is it really the only thing that should symbolize Africa today?