The extreme poverty in Africa has many reasons, some of which are basically from greed and mismanagement of natural resources.
Africa is rich in natural resources ranging from arable land, water, oil, natural gas, minerals, forests and wildlife.
As indicated by the United Nations, Africa is home to around 30% of the world’s mineral stores, 12% of the world’s oil and 8 percent of the world’s gaseous petrol holds.
In spite of that the continent also holds 40 percent of the world’s gold and up to 90 percent of its chromium and platinum, both valuable metals.
Lithium and cobalt are some of the key metals used to produce batteries. In 2019, about 63 percent of the world’s cobalt production came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Tantalum is another metal used in electronic equipment. Tantalum capacitors are found in mobile phones, laptops and in a variety of automotive electronics. The DRC and Rwanda are the world’s largest producers of tantalum. Together they produce half of the world’s tantalum.
Petroleum and coal are among the most abundant minerals for 22 out of Africa’s 54 countries. As of 2019, Nigeria produced most of the continent’s petroleum (25 percent), followed by Angola (17 percent), and Algeria (16 percent).
Metals including gold, iron, titanium, zinc and copper are the top produced minerals for 11 countries. Ghana is the continent’s largest producer of gold, followed by South Africa and Mali.
At $125bn per year, South Africa generates the most money from its mineral resources. Nigeria comes in second with $53bn per year, followed by Algeria ($39bn) Angola ($32bn) and Libya ($27bn).
The aforementioned facts apparently indicates that Africa as a continent has no excuse to be poor.
Ghana’s first president Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in his days said that “Africa is too rich to be poor”, hence, Africa keep experiencing poverty and hardships despite all natural reserves.
Well, lets glance through some 6 major causes of poverty in Africa.
1. Growth of population
Population growth on the African continent is fast, despite various counteraction and instruction crusades. Developmental success and economic growth cannot keep pace with this. As indicated by a new report by UNICEF, the number of inhabitants in Africa will twofold by 2050 to two billion individuals.
2. Climate conditions
The African continent has been been experiencing increasingly more environmental change in recent years. Devastating floods and uncommon drought periods lead to crop failures. The outcomes are regular hunger crises and starvation in Africa. Especially impacted are East Africa and the Sahel region.
3. Is Illness a cause of poverty in Africa?
Diseases such as AIDS, malaria or Ebola are the cause but also the result of poverty in Africa.
Lack of education and inadequate medical care in many regions means that diseases spread faster and cannot be treated.
The average life expectancy of the population is decreasing and the number of orphans is increasing.
4. War and Crisis
Records has it that the world’s 11 out of 20 war-related conflicts in 2013 alone were fought on the African continent all in sub-Saharan Africa.
This includes the wars in Sudan and South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
In the crisis regions, agricultural production usually comes to a standstill. Many people flee, are forcibly expelled from their homes and are dependent on outside help as a result of the war.
5. Inadequate Agricultural Infrastructural
Roads, wells, irrigation systems, storage facilities, agricultural machinery in many regions of Africa lacks both infrastructure and expertise which leads to poor and shady works.
6. Unjust Trade Structures
Rich countries create unjust trading structures by shielding their markets with high agricultural tariffs and heavily subsidizing their own agriculture.
This slows down the development of agriculture on the African continent, causing it to suffer from the outset.