BACKGROUND

Africa, and especially Southern Africa, is by no means poor in terms of natural resources, weather conditions and man-power, and yet the majority of its residents are rated amongst the poorest in the world. Why?

For a while the excuse has been that history has not left Africa in a favourable condition to fend for itself and a lot of its wealth and resources are owned and/or controlled by foreigners. This has been true for a long time but African countries are now independent, for the most part, from their colonial masters, and have had adequate time to effect policy change which would enable a redistribution of wealth, creation of equal opportunities for education and in the workplace, and a better quality of life.

For many years now aid has been poured into Africa and yet there is, arguably, very little evidence of lasting transformation on the same scale. The question is not whether there is enough aid, but whether the aid that is given is used wisely, and whether aid is always the best option in areas of long-term need. In answer to this, there has recently been a global shift from giving handouts (except for emergency relief, e.g. natural disaster, war) to focusing on long-term community development. The SEED Project welcomes this, and seeks to be a part of it.

The SEED Project is an opportunity to review how best to address the need in a sustainable way, by bringing together all the available resources for a more determined attack on poverty, human degradation and disempowerment. The SEED Project views community development as a profession that integrates knowledge from many disciplines with theory, research, teaching, and practice as important and interdependent functions that are vital in improving the standard of life.

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