The discourse on poverty in Africa is very confusing: Although Africa is rising, poverty still curtails the continent’s growth efforts. As a continent, Africa needs to address the negligence of sound economic policies. Corruption, selfish personal interests, thirst for power, religious and ethnic differences which are clogging the pipeline within which development would have flowed failure to do this will only lead us further into poverty.
Here are Top 7 Reasons Why Africa Is Still Poor and may remain poor
1. Civil Wars and Terrorism
It is well known, that civil wars, like terrorism, contribute heavily to poverty. Wars, terrorism not only disorient people but also leave them destitute. it also destroys businesses, social infrastructutes, Industries collapse, economy becomes unstable and investors lose confidence in the affected country etc. All these factors put together pushes the affected region down the economic slopes thus attracting poverty in the region by discouraging investors etc.
According to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, the cost of terrorism to the world was $52.9 billion in 2014. This is the highest number since 2011. 32,000 people died due to terrorism acts in the same year.
Currently virtually all African country is plagued with either terrorism, revolts, riots, wars etc With such high economic impacts and deaths, it is no wonder the continent is still wallowing in poverty.
2. The Unending Corruption
A survey by the Transparency International(TI) indicated that most African governments are not able to meet their citizen’s expectations due to rampant corruption.
#fact Corruption has taken root in all African countries and This has contributed to the plight of Africa today. Senior leaders in government and private sectors alike in their bid to amass wealth have chosen to sink the rich continent down the drain by resorting to not only receive bribes but also giving out bribes.
In some instances, acts of corruption have even been used to fuel civil wars and terrorism.
“Africa is not poor,” It is just poorly managed” President Sirleaf.
And the most annoying thing about the whole corruption issue is that the laws on corruption in Africa are just so lenient those caught in the act are only tapped on the hand.
3. Education and the knowledge gap
Even in this 21st century, some African households cannot afford basic education for their children which is quite sad when you think about it. Although some governments have taken up the matter of basic education provision as a project, many areas still lack schools and even where schools are, they lack the basic neccessities e.g Some schools in Africa lack computers in their computer rooms and those with computers don’t even have electricity to power them…
For Africa to be competitive, there is a need to invest in reinventing its whole education systems.
A majority of African youth are not employed today due to inadequacy in education and technical skills. Corruption in form of nepotism has also affected the rate of employment on the continent.
4. Health and poverty
Health and poverty are interconnected.
Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of poor health. Poor living conditions increases the chances of poor health. In turn, poor health entraps communities in undying poverty by depleting individuals, households and communities’ energy to work to build their lives and that of the society.
Africa as a continent has not been able to create quality health infrastructure and system for its own people (Thanks to our leaders) and now the continent risks falling into a trap where the economy remains stagnated. And our leaders are not concerned rather than fix health system, they’d rather fly out of the continent for treatments.
5. Geographically Disadvantaged
Being placed in a geographically disadvantaged location only calls for innovative ideas to utilize the available resources to advance lives.
A significant number of African countries suffer because they are landlocked- geographically unlucky.
A country like Switzerland is landlocked but it is surrounded by stable economies, creating a platform for trade. On the other hand, most landlocked countries in Africa are surrounded by unstable and conflict-filled countries. most landlocked countries in Africa are surrounded by unstable and conflict-filled countries. These factors injure the economy of the landlocked countries. Uganda, a landlocked country bordered by South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo stands as a good example.
6. International Aid
Another outlook into Africa’s failing economy is the loss that the continent is experiencing as the foreign aid-giving countries milk Africa dry.
The outflow costs to Africa surpass the inflows that get to the continent in form of aid. It has been highlighted that Africa lose almost six and a half times what their countries receive in aid each year.
“While $134 billion flows into the continent each year, predominantly in the form of loans, foreign investment and aid; $192 billion is taken out, mainly in profits made by foreign companies, tax dodging and the costs of adapting to climate change. The result is that Africa suffers a net loss of $58 billion a year. As such, the idea that these western countries are aiding Africa is flawed; it is Africa that is aiding the rest of the world,” Health Poverty Action Report.
Africa is also to blame when it comes to misappropriation of aid funds and corruption among the officials.
7. Poor Distribution of Wealth
Although Africa is a rich continent and boasts of numerous resources – both human and raw materials that are in hot demands around the globe, the continent is still struggling with poverty and there is still a very wide gap between the rich and the poor due poor distribution of wealth.
Africa is increasingly aware of this problem and even the importance of addressing it. But While the culture is strong, what is not is the political will, policies, strategies and legislative framework to adopt to stategically redistribute this wealth to the whole citizens.
Africa has the potential to rise above any other continent if only it laid emphasis on shunning corruption, providing basic amenities including water, food, shelter, energy, education and security for all.
Indifference on the part of our government to the plight of their citizens also is the sole reason why Africa may remain poor.