It is very easy to curse African Leaders as being corrupt and also blame African poverty on corrupt practices by African leaders. This is a cliché and a stereotype that has been created around African leaders. There is some semblance of truth in it but the statement has been ‘very economic’ on the real truth of the situation. In other words, there is an element of misinformation or disinformation.
Before explaining my view points the following should be realized: Firstly, going to the Arab Sheikh, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and former President of The Arab Emirates, is a Feudal ruler of Abu Dhabi which is part of the Emirates (A Federation of Feudal Sultanates in the Persian Gulf).
Secondly, that as Absolute Feudal rulers, the Sheikhs, has personal ownership of all wealth that emanates from their sheikhdom or Sultanate and as such, the lavish life style which basically is nothing else but corrupt or rather extreme debauchery. The Sheikh, is corrupt as he has the legal and constitutional right to the wealth and no one questions it not even the Western Governments nor the Western based NGO or the Western Oil Companies, in fact the Sheiks are Darlings of the Western World.
Thirdly and more importantly, the citizens of the Emirates, especially Abu Dhabi, live under a highly developed welfare state. That goes for all Arab Oil producing countries. The countries have experienced high development in Education, Health, Housing (all which are free) and there is a welfare program which pays people who are unemployed. The Sheikhs do it, as they claim, by tenets of Sharia law which demands that rulers look after their subjects, which basically is Social Justice.
However, what no body tells us is that those Arab OPEC countries are not Democratic; there is no Western Liberal Democratic System, or idea, that operates or is tolerated there. More importantly what no body tells us is that those countries control the wealth that emanates from their countries. This is reflected by the fact that not less than Eighty percent of all profits that emanates from their oil accrues to the pockets or ownership of the Arab country, be it the state (as in the case of Libya or Saddam’s Iraq) or the individual Feudal Sheikh’s pocket whereas Western Oil Conglomerates get, at most, just Twenty percent of all profits that emanates from Arab Oil. So generally those guys (the Sheikhs) are reeling in monies hence the opulent life style and there is still left overs to uplift the citizenry.
Coming to African countries, unfortunately, there are not many African countries that have oil resources that rival the Arabs countries; however we do have other mineral resources, which are not as lucrative as oil. Nevertheless the resources still generate profit. The anomaly of the African situation, is realized when you investigate the initial division of wealth that emanates from African mineral resources. Taking the common factor of oil, it will be noted that less than Fifteen percent of all profits that emanate from African Oil accrues to the African Countries. The Western oil companies get the lion share and that is measured by a minimum of Eighty Five percent of all profits that emanate from African Oil, which goes to them.