Poverty in Africa refers to the lack of basic human needs faced by certain people in African society. African nations typically fall toward the bottom of any list measuring small size economic activity, such as income per capita or GDP per capita, despite a wealth of natural resources. In 2009, 22 of 24 nations identified as having "Low Human Development" on the United Nations' (UN) Human Development Index were in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2006, 34 of the 50 nations on the UN list of least developed countries are in Africa. In many nations, GDP per capita is less than USD$200 per year, with the vast majority of the population living on much less. In addition, Africa's share of income has been consistently dropping over the past century by any measure. In 1820, the average European worker earned about three times what the average African did. Now, the average European earns twenty times what the average African does. Although GDP per capita incomes in Africa have also been steadily growing, measures are still far better in other parts of the world. Contents * 1 Mismanagement of land * 2 Misused money * 3 Human resources * 4 Disease * 5 Lack of infrastructure * 6 Conflict * 7 Effects of poverty * 8 References * 9 Further reading * 10 External links
| Mismanagement of land
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| Despite large amounts of arable land south of the Sahara Desert, small, individual land holdings are rare. In many nations, land is subject to tribal ownership and in others, most of the land is often in the hands of descendants of European settlers of the late 19th century and early 20th century. For example, according to a 2005 IRIN report, about 82% of the arable land in South Africa is owned by those of European descent. Many nations lack a system of freehold landowning. In others, the laws prevent people from disadvantaged groups from owning land at all. Although often these laws are ignored, and land sales to disadvantaged groups occur, legal title to the land is not assured. As such, rural Africans rarely have clear title to their own land, and have to survive as farm laborers. Unused land is plentiful, but is often private property. Most African nations have very poor land registration systems, making squatting and landtheft common occurrences. This makes it difficult to get a mortgage or similar loan, as ownership of the property often cannot be established to the satisfaction of financiers. This system often gives an advantage to one native African group over another, and is not just Europeans over Africans. For example, it was hoped that land reform in Zimbabwe would transfer land from European land owners to family farmers. Instead, it simply substituted native Africans with ties to the government for Europeans, leaving much of the population disadvantaged. Because of this abuse, foreign aid that was destined for land purchases was withdrawn. (See Land reform in Zimbabwe) It is estimated[by whom?] that a family of four can be made self-sufficient for about $300 (U.S.) – the cost of an Ox, a few hectares of land, and starter seeds. Historically, such programs have been few and far between, with much foreign aid being concentrated on the raising of cash crops and large plantations rather than family farms. There is no consensus on what the optimal strategy for land use in Africa may be. Studies by the National Academy of Sciences have suggested great promise in relying on native crops as a means to improving Africa's food security. A report by Future Harvest suggests that traditionally used forage plants show the same promise. Supporting a different viewpoint is an article appearing in AgBioForum which suggests that smallhold farmers benefited substantially by planting a genetically...
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