Does poverty exist in Africa? Most African countries fall in the pecking order of the developed nations, as evident in their per capita income of each country. The developing nations show consistency in drop in their income shares. The state of scarcity in every nation has a vast number of causes; however, Africa still faces numerous challenges. Therefore, from this perspective, it can be deduced that poverty exists in Africa.
Many scholars have uploaded Africa for its steadfast growth in productivity. Africa is believed to be a fast-paced continent. African population is rapidly rising, a sign of labor availability. The nation’s education growth is an indication future prosperity, as lack of education will no longer be challenge to the continent (Acemoglu & Robinson, 2012). Africa is showing high technology advancement. Technological manufactures have identified the nation as an important world consumer, despite its low technology exports. However, African economic success is merely a projection. Africa still languishes in poverty.
Political unarrest is rampant in Africa. Conflicts amongst various communities have emerged as one of the principals of human misery. Fights have caused destruction of mega property including farm products, which eventually results to lack enough food supply within a country(Acemoglu & Robinson, 2012). The skirmishes have also led to massive loss of labor needed in the agricultural firms. Threats, which emanate from the conflicts, have led displacements. As people flee, they leave behind vital economic resources, further plunging them into poverty. The violence caused migrations, forces the victims as nonproductive refugees (Hope, 2011). Examples of African nations impoverished owing political instabilities include Southern Sudan, Egypt, Somalia, and Burundi.
Population growth has also lead to immense poverty scale in Africa. A family is sub-Saharan country will give birth to several children despite the fact that they have less to depend on. Increased number of individuals within a locality has also led to poor living standards as competition for the meager resources has increased. Africa’s population by 2013 was at 1.033 billion with annual growth rate exceeding 2%. The continent is projecting higher population of the youth, despite low life expectancy of 50 years. At the rate, the agriculture dependent region is quickly losing its economic resources (Grannis, 2011). Poverty is still on increase in Africa.
Environmental challenges such as desertification, erosion, and deforestation have reduced agricultural production and income in Africa. Both individuals and commercial entities, are exploring forested areas for habitat, farming, timber, and fuel wood. The resultant is an increased rate of deforestations. Desertification and drought has also been instigated to some level by global warming (Acemoglu & Robinson, 2012). African desserts are widening, covering more agricultural lands, and shifting people’s economic activities.
The governance system in most African nations has acerbated poverty. Misuses of public resources have led to wasteful resource utilization. In most countries, public resources are poorly distributed with most ending up in the hands of minority in the affluent class, especially the political groups. Most citizens only struggle for survival, burdened with heavy taxation policies. In worse scenarios, first world nations and international bodies have been prompted to provide aid to African people. However, owing to poor governance the aids have fallen in the hands of the corrupt leaders, who resort to squander them. African governments are losing a lot of public resources in poorly managed government projects. In many cases, such projects have little to no impact benefit to the citizens. Some to the wasteful projects include road constructions and technological projects (Hope, 2011). In Ghana; for example, the Akosombo dam was mainly constructed solely to supply electricity for the extraction of aluminum, however, the ores extracted were mainly of low grade compared to the international standards. The entire project became a burden to Ghanaian tax payers.
Mortality rate in Africa is on the rise due to the increasing global burden of diseases, mainly affecting the active youth and younger generation. HIV/AIDS, among other pandemics is the most prevalent disease in Africa. Ebola virus has also caused tension amongst the West African countries. The pandemics rid African of the active population, leaving less productive underage and the elderly. As a result, the continent’s productivity is low in comparison to its fast growing population.
Africa suffers is deficient of labor. African countries possess cheap and non-efficient labor, perpetuated with lack of advance education and low technology development. Additionally, its labor policies discourage industrial and agricultural investments from both within and outside. The labor challenges have significantly contributed to low employment rates, poor wages, and less product output. Low technological adoption and lack of skilled labor has forced the continent to heavily rely on manual labor whereas first income countries use machines to carryout numerous activities.
In conclusion, poverty is still rife in Africa. While the continent shows some promising future, it still suffers from political unrests, which causes immeasurable human miseries. The continent is facing population explosion. Population growth has led to immense poverty scale in many nations. The nation is facing rapid environmental challenges, which it cannot cope with. Environmental challenges such as desertification, erosion, and deforestation have reduced agricultural land in Africa. Poor governance has escalated poverty in Africa. The governance system in most African nations has acerbated poverty through corruption. High mortality rates of active population and low skilled labor. As a result, poverty is still real and a problem in the continent.
Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. (2012). Why nations fail: The origins of power, prosperity, and poverty. New York: Crown.
Grannis, S. (2011). Hope amidst despair HIV/AIDS-affected children in Sub-Saharan Africa. London: Pluto Press.
Hope, S. (2011). The Political Economy of Development in Kenya. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing.