The world has seen a massive acceleration of poverty reduction in third-world countries over the last couple of decades. However, when it comes to a natural resource enriched like Africa, you would notice that the acceleration is not speedy enough compare to other continents of the world.
The Africa continent is bestowed with so much natural wealth such as diamonds, coal, petroleum, natural gas, copper, uranium, etc. Still, it has been the poorest continent in the world for so long, with a 41% poverty rate.
A question may cross your mind — why is Africa so poor despite being bestowed with natural resources?
So, keep reading this article to know some of the prime causes for Africa being poor.
Why Is Africa So Poor Despite Being Bestowed With Natural Resources?
Well, there are several reasons behind the poverty of Africa. Even though the continent has shown some improvement over the past few years, it’s still stuck in scarcity.
Absence of Transparency
One of the fundamental causes of Africa being poor is the absence of transparency in the continent. African nations must bring back transparency to eradicate poverty.
The projection of the number of diamonds produced all over Africa is twice less than the actual production. Corruption, tax avoidance, false production reports, illegal trade are the fundamental reasons behind this scenario.
However, you can see the flip part of this situation in the African country Botswana. They have set an example among the countries of Africa. The country has a strong governance organization that ensures the proper distribution of profit to the community.
Besides, they highly focus on transparency and have set an example of diminishing poverty in the continent.
Modern Age Colonialism
Economic development and growth is a crucial factor for the prosperity of any nation or continent. Africa is no exception in this regard. The colonialism of the modern era has severely affected the economy of the deprived continent in the world, which is Africa.
Colonialism can be defined as an act of practicing partial or full rule over another nation. One of the main purposes of colonialism is to exercise authority by exploiting the natural wealth of a country. As a result that, the colonized countries find it difficult to develop economically.
This scenario is the same with Africa. You would notice that the continent is blessed with rich natural resources, which include the most valuable diamonds.
However, powerful nations such as France, the USA, England, and many more dominate most of the Africans. This eventually damages the economy of these nations.
Perhaps, an example would be great to make it clearer to you in understanding the situation better.
African nations mainly depend upon the imported services and goods due to the strategies of colonialism. In this way, the powerful nations take away almost all the natural resources.
Corruption of Bureaucrats
The distinction between the wealthy class and the poor class has always been a common phenomenon in history. And Africa is the most prominent example of this unequal distribution of wealth.
Most of the wealth of this region is concentrated in the hand of a few numbers of the elite. On the other hand, the poor people are deprived of all kinds of necessities such as medical treatment, clean and hygienic water, and food.
Over the last few centuries, this unequal distribution of resources has extended between the poor and rich. Throughout Africa, you can see the existence of corruption in every section of the political structure. This hinders economic development to a large extend.
Besides, the corruption of the government and political figures has a tremendously negative impact on the poor citizens of Africa. The people of Africa hardly have access to the support, services, and funding of the government. And even if they get something, they need to pay bribes to obtain the services.
Inadequate Education Facility
Without a proper education system, no nation can prosper. Education is one of the prime elements to make a country developed. If most of the people of a nation are educated, it’s a good indication that the nation is heading towards development.
However, most of the African countries have lack instructions and opportunities in the education sector. So, that’s why the citizens of these countries don’t get the chance to learn and progress.
Many proofs suggest that appropriate education has a profound effect on poverty reduction and economic development because the literate people would have a better chance of getting high-paying jobs compared to those who have no or less education.
Africa is blessed with plenty of natural resources, but due to a lack of educated people, the governments of this continent find it tough to make the right decision and to do suitable planning.
Speedy Increase In Population
The increase of population and poverty has an intimate relationship between them. As we all know, excessive population results in poverty while, at the same time, too much poverty has a direct impact on overpopulation.
So, every nation should initiate policies to make the balance between these two conditions. Otherwise, economic development will rarely come.
In Africa, overpopulation is a great problem and one of the prime causes of its poverty. The continent has a high death and birth rate, which is leading people to live in such severe conditions.
What is more alarming is that the population of Africa is predicted to be doubled by the end of 2050, claimed by one of the reports of UNICEF.
What are the criteria for being poor? Well, lack of income is one of them. However, not only the per capita income measures poverty, but numbers of other factors are there behind poverty.
You should know that poverty is a multi-dimensional notion. Measuring poverty, human health, and well-being are two important criteria.
When it comes to Africa, most of the inhabitants face health inequalities due to undesirable socio-economic aspects. You can notice that Costly health care facilities, unsanitary living situations, absence of proper education help the rapid spreading of diseases. Besides, most of the affected people remain untreated.
Nowadays, in Africa, many kids and adults are suffering from life-threatening diseases such as Ebola, malaria, dengue, HIV, and many more. These diseases increase the rate of mortality. As a consequence of that, many young children are becoming street youth, and this leads them to many crimes.
Fraud Of Multinational Mining Companies
A fundamental reason behind the poverty of many sub-Saharan African countries is the deception of various multinational mining companies. Many have blamed them for stealing a huge number of natural resources.
These companies show excessive production costs, and when it comes to production statistics, they under-report that. Besides, these multinational companies intentionally avoid paying taxes, pollute the environment, involve with bribes, and are not maintain transparency concerning mining rights.
For sustainable economic development, skilled and trained labor is a must for any country. If a country doesn’t have a sufficient number of experienced and skilled laborers, it suffers a lot, especially in the production sector. A major reason behind poverty in Africa is that it has a large population of inexperienced persons.
As we have already mentioned, the lack of proper education is a major contributor to poverty in Africa. This also produces so many inexperienced laborers in the area.
On top of that, the lack of investment and technological infrastructure in the development and training section hinders the emergence of skilled individuals. For example, Africa produces almost all the diamonds in the world, but due to the shortage of skilled personnel, many countries fail to produce quality final products.
Severe Violation of Human Rights
Africa has always been exploited by the developed nations in the world. Historically, the people of this continent are facing severe violations of their rights. This is especially true in the mining section, where mining companies violate the right of mining labor besides engaging in immoral activities.
These companies are the main culprit for the deterioration of human health and the environment in this region. Too much quest for greater profits makes them doing such inhuman acts.
Deficiency of Business Knowledge
Experience in business plays a crucial role in making the economy of a nation growing and successful. However, this is one of the fundamental reasons for business letdowns in Africa. So, without a good business condition, Africa is struggling to overcome the situation of being poor.
Africa has incredible potential, but the absence of proper business and technical knowledge hampering its economy quite severely. To convert raw materials into goods requires innovative ideas which will only come with proper business understanding.
If a nation knows how to convert raw materials into merchandise, it can easily meet the demands of the locals besides exporting its products into foreign countries as well. In this way, it can earn a handsome amount of foreign revenue that will help the nation to grow its economy.
Hopefully, you have gotten a clear idea regarding why is Africa so poor. Africa is blessed with so much wealth. In that regard, Africa is not a poor continent. But, they need to fix the problem mentioned above to overcome the state of being poor. Also, we should change our outlook toward Africa.
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