Kourosh Ziabari - Foreign Policy Journal: The Black Continent has long suffered identically from what the oil-rich countries such as Iran have undergone historically. The pervasiveness of energy resources, minerals, profuse water, oil and gas supplies, gemstones and other precious resources have been the ancient reason for Africa's subjugation and affliction.
The perennial rivalry of Colonial Powers to gain the ownership of more African lands and properties, their insatiable aptitude to take over tiny African realms and archipelagos and eventually the political failure of unmerited leaders all around the continent could be named the major factors which have been pushing 53 countries and 61 territories to the brink of poverty, conflict and disappointment over the past decades.
Africa is undisputedly an ancient, reputable and prestigious continent which should be taken seriously as a key role-player in international developments. It constitutes 6% of Earth's total surface, accounts for about 14.8% of the World's population and has been the passageway between Asia and Europe.
However, the distorted image of Africa as a downtrodden yet profitable and lucrative continent is portrayed by the mass media. The success stories of democratization in a number of African countries, the rise of hopes and aspirations among the youth generation of Africa and the promotion of numerous prominent figures from this advantageous soil are the neglected stories which should be reviewed.
We owe many of our progressions and improvements to the African figures whom we even sometimes forget the nationalities of; notable figures include Nelson Mandela, Fredrik Willem de Klerk, Kofi Annan, Wangari Mathaai, Naguib Mahfouz, and Mohammad ElBaradei.
Alex Matthews is a South African citizen journalist and blogger who has been working on the dossiers of Africa for quite a long time. He is affiliated with his country's most important newspaper, Mail and Guardian and writes in his blog Afrodissident.
In an interview with Foreign Policy Journal, Matthews talks about the current situation of some insurgent spots of the African continent, the prospect of economic development, the most important sports event of the continent in 2010 and the local failures of states in Zimbabwe and Sudan.