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Africa falls behind: debate over the causes and the policy response - Essay Example

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Sub-Saharan Africa is the most underdeveloped region in the world for several years. The region is affected by several factors such as rapid population growth, poor governance, environmental degradation and the increasing gap between the rich and the poor…
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Africa falls behind: debate over the causes and the policy response
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Africa falls behind: debate over the causes and the policy response

Download file to see previous pages... These factors of poverty continue to be the main concern of development partners and the international community. The majority of citizens in this region are absolutely poor because they cannot afford their basic needs such food, clothing and shelter. The main issue is not to discuss the level of poverty. The fact is that most of the people in sub Saharan Africa are poorer than they were in a generation ago. The following are some of the reasons that have led to the poverty situation in sib Saharan Africa (Smith, 2003). Most African countries were colonized by European countries. Colonization began in 19th century and ended in 1960s. The effect of colonization can be seen to be a major factor in poverty. The colonial administrators concentrated in the exploiting of resources in Africa. They did not care about education of the people. In the process of exploiting the natural resources, Africans were introduced to forced labor. The resources were transported to European industries for the production of goods. African got no benefits in return. Further, the system of rule used by the colonial administrators affected Africans. Africans were divided according to race, religion and tribe. Currently, Africans continue to engage in ethnic rivalry that is not favorable for poverty alleviation (Smith, 2003). Wars, especially civil wars continue to affect African countries. Countries such as Angola and Democratic republic of Congo continue to be affected by civil wars despite numerous natural resources such as oil, and minerals such as gold. Wars have negative effect t on economic prospect. Poverty cannot be alleviated if citizens continue to fight each other. Further, wars in sub-Saharan Africa arise due to the inability of political leaders to distribute economic resources equitably to all communities. Most of the countries are landlocked; they cannot trade with the rest of the world (Fosu, Mwabu & Thorbeck, 2009). Africa has some of the worst dictators in the world. Poor governance leads to poor economic policies. In Africa, corruption affects the development activities because leaders mismanage public resources. In Africa, political leaders are super rich while the rest of the population suffers the effects of corruption. Further, poor leadership strategies have led to low investment in human capital. In sub-Saharan Africa, the governments have put little effort in the development of health facilities, education and skills development. Literacy levels are low in Africa thus affecting their ability to seek for meaningful employment (Smith, 2003). There are high population growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa, more than any other place in the world. The high population growth is not good for the limited resources and the aristocratic forms of governance. High population growth rate is attributed to beliefs held by the majority that children are a security to old age. Parents see children to be important since they will depend on them for economic support (Fosu, Mwabu & Thorbeck, 2009). African problems are numerous. Other factors leading to lack of development in the region include environmental degradation and climate change, poor advice and harsh conditionality from international agencies, underdeveloped institutions, low savings and investment in non human capital, and debt crisis. The case study is important in finding the long terms solutions that can help sub-Saharan Africa to tackle poverty. Further, it will enable political leaders in the sub-Saharan region to concentrate on development issues and shin divisive politics. The international community will also benefit from the case study by having a clear picture of issues affecting sub-Saharan Africa ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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