And this matters for poverty, for the simple reason that trust can promote (pdf) economic growth, partly by facilitating the growth of financial markets. Low trust, therefore, means low growth.
This generates a strong argument for rich countries to redistribute income to Africans. We should help them not just because they are poor, but because they are poor in part (no-one claims slavery is the whole cause of their poverty) because the west made them so.
One might ask: why should I pay for the sins of my countrymen’s ancestors? Simple. We are rich for the same reason Africans are poor. They are poor because they were born into a poor continent. We are rich because we were born into a rich one. I’m one of the richest 1% of people on the planet. This is not because I’m smart, or hard-working or charming. It’s because I was born in the right place. Any individual who thinks their wealth is the result of their own effort is just an idiot.
Of course, this argument has no weight whatsoever. But this is because empirical evidence and ethical considerations have no role in politics, except as thin veils for ego and self-interest.