11 October, 2007 - Published 15:36 GMT
Child deaths, lack of food, shorter life expectancy, poor health care and a shattered economy.
These are just a few of the costs of armed conflict described in a new report from Oxfam.
But first to Rwanda where, 13 years ago, 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred in Africa's worst geonicide of modern times.
The Foreign Minister Charles Murigande spoke of the cost of conflict there
But Oxfam says it can now put a price on Africa's wars. The charity says fighting costs the continent 18 billion dollars a year....and that is the same amount Africa gets in aid.
The author of the report is Debbie Hillier. So what is new about her findings.
One of the people supporting an arms trade treaty is the president of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
A quarter of a million people were killed in Liberia's long and bloody civil war. The economy was ruined and the country was left awash with weapons.
But if people are making large sums of money it's hard to see how the arms trade can be stopped.
Even so Oxfam's Debbie Hillier is optimistic.
First broadcast 10th October 2007