Why Is Africa So Poor

Though the continent of Africa has a lot of valuable resources including diamonds, gold, coltan, oil, uranium, iron, and bauxite, etc. still a large number of people living in Africa are considered the poorest throughout the world. Even if some of the African countries in the sub-Saharan region are doing well still most of them are stuck in poverty for a long.

It is very mysterious that the abundance of natural resources has negligibly affected the quality of life of millions of people living in nearly 49 African countries in the southern part of Sahara desserts for many years. In this write-up, we are going to discuss the main reasons for poverty faced by African citizens.


There are several reasons that have collectively made Africa one of the poorest countries in the world. Africa has a long history of poverty. Even if it is a developing country, various internal, external, and artificial circumstances worked together to bring it to the present situation of poverty. The situation of more than half population in sub-Saharan Africa living in poverty has been worsened by cultural conflicts, ethnic cleansing, and AIDS/HIV epidemics for the last several decades. The main causes of poverty in Africa include:


In fighting against poverty and development in SSA or sub-Saharan Africa corruption is one of the reasons that has hindered. In this world, Africa countries in this region are considered the most corrupted. According to an anti-corruption survey, people living in African countries are of the view that family relations are more crucial than the identity of the nation. For this reason, powerful people use bribery and favoritism for the benefit of their relations instead of for the benefit of the nation.

SSA countries have to suffer a loss of revenue of nearly $150 billion per year due to corruption. Though some of the African countries that have fought against corruption like Tanzania, Rwanda, and Ghana have been successful in making some progress still many of them are suffering from corruption and their condition is worsening day-by-day.


Another major cause of poverty in Africa is poor governance in most African countries. Various unprofessional conducts practiced by the state and its officials have worsened the financial status of their citizens. Most of them have followed the theory of personal rules and treated their office for their personal gain as their personal property. At the important posts in the departments of government and the institutions owned by the state, they appoint under-qualified people to rule on the citizens. The governance by such officials makes poor citizens more vulnerable by not providing them basic requirements including shelter, food, and healthcare, etc.


Another major reason for poverty in Africa is the poor healthcare system as they cannot afford to buy things required for their good health like healthcare services and a good quantity of healthy foods. Many people living in African countries have to suffer from various infectious diseases like HV/AIDS and malaria etc. due to a lack of knowledge on preventing them. Poor people in Africa cannot buy healthcare facilities due to the higher costs of consultation, medicines, and tests.


Another serious reason that contributes to increasing poverty in African countries is the lack of education. The rate of exclusion from education is the highest in SSA countries. Almost 1/5th of the children from 6-11 years of age, 1/3rd of children from12-14 years, and 2/3rd of children from 15-17 years are not attending schools in SSA countries.

Some of the support groups like UNESCO, UIS, and UNICEF are focusing more on girl education these days. But the rate of success of women’s education in poor communities is very low due to lack of sanitary facilities, poor access to schools, child marriage and mutilation of female genitals, etc.

But for improving the economic growth of a country education of girls is considered as one of the most cost effective and proven ways throughout the world. many studies have revealed that more nourished and healthier babies are born by educated women. The chances of breaking the cycle of poverty can increase due to an increase in the chances for the babies born by educated women to go to school.


Thus African countries can get rid of their poverty and help in developing their respective economies by fighting strongly against corruption, educating people, providing healthcare facilities, and improving the style of governance.
See Also : US-Africa Policy

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