4.01.2011

African Aspirations

I try to keep this blog as upbeat and fun as possible, however, I do think it is important to sometimes talk about the not so pleasant things in our world.

In high school I was in enrolled in a specialty center for "Leadership, Government, and Global Economics."  The lessons I learned throughout those 4 years helped shape the person I am now.  Sophomore year, our two leadership classes were Sociology and Contemporary World Affairs.  Together, these two classes really opened my eyes to the stratification in our world.  I was inspired to make a difference, and am particularly interested in Africa.


I plan to use the first day of every month to post about Africa.  I see it as a way to start each month thinking and gracious for all that we have.  Some posts will focus on the tragedies occurring across Africa, while others may focus on its beauty and excitement.  Today's post will be an overview of the African continent.

  • Africa's population is approximately one billion people 
    • (The U.S. population is 300 million)
  • The per capita income (for the entire continent) is $1456.07 
    • (The U.S. per capita income is nearly $50,000)
  • The infant mortality rate is 78 per 1000 births 
    • (The U.S. infant mortality rate is approximately 7/1000)
  • Life expectancy at birth is 56 
    • (The U.S. life expectancy at birth is 78)
  • 22.5 million people are estimated to be living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa 
    • (One million people are estimated to be living with HIV in the U.S. Africa's population is roughly three times that of ours, so for a more accurate comparison, if we were the size of Africa, we would have approximately 3 million people living with HIV, still only 1/7 the amount as in Africa.)
  • Despite having an abundance of natural resources, Africa is the poorest and most underdeveloped continent
  • It is home to the Nile River and Ancient Egypt Pyramids, Mount Kilimanjaro, Victoria Falls, Ngorongoro Crater, the Sahara Desert, and Serengeti Plain



Victoria Falls

Serengeti

Have you been to Africa?  Is there a certain place or cause you are particularly passionate about?  I hope my passion to become aware and make a difference will inspire you to do the same (whether it be at the local, regional, national, or global level).  We can ALL make a difference in some way.

As a much less serious side note, does anyone have any fun April Fools to share?

Have a great weekend!

I found my facts using Google, and these websites:  African Development Bank, Avert, and the ever useful Wikipedia.

20 comments:

  1. I will be looking forward to your posts each month. It is so true .. if we all do just a little together we can make a difference! ... I'm passionate about helping children ... at the HHL household we sponsor 2 children (1 in Africa .. and the other in Brazil). xo HHL

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  2. thanks for stopping my blog! Thank you for your post on Africa. i have not yet gone for a specific mission but i have been on safari (3x). I just love Africa!

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  3. I've always wanted to go to Africa - love that you're doing posts on it. Hopefully it'll inform and inspire!

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  4. What a great idea, I LOVE this. I am very passionate about animal rights and the environment (and try to incorporate that in my blog on some level without being overbearing ;)

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  5. Africa is such an amazing place, there are so many different eco-systems and cultures. It is amazing to look at those stats, and hard not to hurt so badly for many of the people in Africa. My friend and her mother went to Africa this Fall, working with Pfizer, and here is a great video you should check out, here is a link to a video! (you have to download it)
    http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=batch_download&send_id=1003247511&email=614776fcdc94e9000023af6608973693

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  6. This is a great post! I've never been to Africa but definitely want to go sometime.

    Great blog!

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  7. Saw you on Biz's Blog. Like Biz my husband and I have spend some time on Safari over in Africa. It is a place near and dear to my heart.

    Check out my blog at: http://laughinglovingandliving.blogspot.com

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  8. I've always wanted to visit Africa! Looking forward to your posts each month on this!

    http://turquoiseandteale.blogspot.com/

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  9. Never been but would love to go. Check out the Invisible Children link on my blog to read one of my friend's story about working for them in San Diego.

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  10. I've always wanted to go to Africa. I'm looking forward to reading your posts!

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  11. I think this is a beautiful idea . And some of the facts really to stir us to remember how lucky we are.
    What a thoughtful idea, and what a beauitful blog.
    I can't wait to read more... so glad i've stumbled across your blog!

    P.s. If you have a spare moment..could you possibly take a peak at my blog? Im pretty new to it all,so love it or detest it- any comment from a pro like you would be wonderful :D !

    Love from London,
    Roma :) xx

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  12. I lived in Zimbabwe for 6 months my jr year of college. Victoria falls is AMAZING! I've been to South Africa too. It will always have a special place in my heart as it changed my life.
    xoxo
    SC

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  13. I know what you mean and you are so right, sometimes, you just need to post about the serious stuff! There is so much Africa I want to see.. I have only been to Morocco which was AMAZING, but I'd really like to explore South Africa as well.

    Hope you have a wonderful day!
    B.

    That Girl in Pearls

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  14. Hi friend! What a wonderful idea and post! I am so looking forward to reading more! Hope your having a wonderful day! xoxo

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  15. Love, love, love Africa but have only been in my dreams and look forward to going some day! :)
    Thanks for the comment on my blog, am following yours!

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  16. Great post, and I love reading things like this. I sponsor two little girls through World Vision, one in Albania and one in South Africa, so I've been learning as much as I can about both countries! I hope to be able to go and meet them both someday!

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  17. I can tell that you are aware that Africa is a continent and not a country but the manner in which you compare it to the US appears that you are oblivious to this. You cannot make an efficient comparison between a continent and a country!!

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  18. Anonymous,
    You make a good point and it is something I considered when writing this post. Aside from the AIDS population numbers, however, I don't think that comparing the two is so off base. My point in posting this was to open my readers eyes to the disparity amongst our lives and those of people in Africa. So seeing that, for example, our per capita income, is 50x that of theirs, gets my message across. In future posts, I plan to focus on specific countries and issues in Africa. Please come back to read more.
    Allie

    PS- I am going to amend the AIDS section, to make it a better comparison.

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Your comments brighten my day!