Today, 300 million African people live on less than $1 US per day (World Bank). The incidence of extreme poverty never seems to go down, despite decades of work by African governments and NGOs, outside NGOs, and foreign government aid programs. What causes this entrenched poverty, on a continent rich with natural resources?
Unfortunately, poverty in Africa doesn 't result from just one or two causes. There are a number of different factors at work, all interacting with one another, and making the problem of entrenched poverty extremely difficult to solve. Some of the major causes of poverty include: war and armed conflict, poor farm policy, lack of access to credit, rampant unemployment, lack of access to education, and disease.
One-fifth of all African people live in countries seriously disrupted by armed conflict (World Bank). When war is ranging all around, it 's very difficult to grow crops, continue to work in an office, or earn money. Ordinary life becomes impossible, as people are forced to flee their homes. Thus, productivity goes down, and poverty rates shoot up. Countries at war produce an average of 12.5 per cent less food per person than they do during peace time (World Bank).
One example is Angola, where a 27-year long civil war killed half a million people and left 3.8 million people displaced (Szczepanski). Virtually all the country 's infrastructure was destroyed in the conflict, and more than three-quarters of the population fell into extreme poverty. Today, 85% of Angolans make their living through subsistence farming, working fields that conceal left-over landmines (World Bank).
The unemployment rate in some African nations is more than 70%. Zimbabwe 's unemployment rate is now 85% and rising (Muller). Even in South Africa, one of the most developed African nations, unemployment is around 36%, significantly higher than that in Europe or North America (Muller). With so many people out of work, it 's little wonder that
Bibliography: 1. "Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa: Issues and Recommendations," The World Bank (Oct. 1996). http://www.worldbank.org/afr/f indings/english/find73.htm 2. "Malaria: A Major Cause of Child Death and Poverty in Africa," UNICEF (Jan. 2004). http://www.unicef.at/fil eadmin/medien/pdf/malaria_eng. pdf 3. "Specialists debate the incidence and causes of poverty in Africa," Cristina Muller, UN Economic Commission for Africa (Dec. 13, 2005). http://www.uneca.org/eca_resou rces/news/131205espd_dna2.htm 4. “Causes of poverty in Africa”, Kallie Szczepanski (2009) http://www.helium.com/items/1003065-causes-of-poverty-in-africa