Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Go to advanced search...

Underdevelopment in Africa - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Its population confront the dual threats of poverty and disease and economic reform programs simply do not seem to be working. Tunde Obadina, the Director of Africa Business Information Services, cites economic facts and figures which underscore the bleakness of the situation…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER93% of users find it useful
Underdevelopment in Africa
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Underdevelopment in Africa"

Africa suffers persistent underdevelopment. Its population confront the dual threats of poverty and disease and economic reform programs simply do not seem to be working. Tunde Obadina (2008), the Director of Africa Business Information Services, cites economic facts and figures which underscore the bleakness of the situation. Whereas the average per capita income in the industrialized world stands at over $27,000, in Africa the figure is just over $500. The implication is not just that the developed countries are, on the average, 51 times richer than Africa but that at a modest GDP growth rate of 3%, a figure which most African countries have been unable to attain, it would take Africa 120 years to arrive at the current developmental status of the industrialized countries (Obadina, 2008). Waiting 120 years, however, is hardly a feasible option. A solution is needed but solutions are dependant upon understanding the causes of persistent underdevelopment in Africa. A critical analysis of the situation indicates that while there is no single cause for persistent underdevelopment in Africa, corruption and totalitarian dictatorships may be identified as the primary causes.
Within Africa, the legacy of colonialism is the most popular explanation for the continent's continuing underdevelopment. Certainly, as J. Brea (2008) explains, colonialism with its tendency for the "haphazard" division of territories and creation of states, not to mention its exploitation of the continent's natural resources, is a factor in Africa's underdevelopment (para. 1). In essence, the haphazard creation of nations is at the root if the failed state phenomenon which several African nations suffer from and, as such, is a root cause of political instability and hence, the inability to implement economic development policies (Brea, 2008). Nevertheless, it is hardly the primary cause of continued underdevelopment.
Continued underdevelopment in Africa and the continent's persistent failure to improve its economic status is primarily due to corruption, enabled by absolute totalitarian dictatorships. As Senyo Adjilbolosoo (2005) argues, Africa has received billions of dollars in aid and foreign investment during the post-colonial period. Both the IMF and the World Bank have actively intervened for the purposes of implementing economic development policies, as have numerous other non-governmental organizations. Despite the stated, little, if any, economic progress has been made. The reason lies in blatant governmental corruption. Significant percentages of the continent's wealth and aid money inevitably make their way to the private accounts of the continent's dictators. Furthermore, given the near-total lack of democracy, there is no accountability. The implication here is that corruption, at the highest levels of government, can continue unabated (Adjilbolosoo, 2005). More importantly, corruption stands as an obstacle to the implementation of economic and social development policies, thereby, significantly contributing to the continued underdevelopment and impoverishment of the continent and its population.
While one cannot ignore the role which HIV/Aids, civil war and environmental degradation have played in Africa's continuing underdevelopment, corruption emerges as the primary cause. This argument does not mean to minimize the extent to which the HIV/Aids pandemic has wreaked economic havoc upon the continent, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, but it intended to draw attention to the fact that corruption stands as a formidable obstacle to the implementation of, not just development programs but, HIV/Aids prevention programs (Adjilbolosoo, 2005; Brea, 2008). In the final analysis, therefore, and even while conceding to the fact that there are multiple causes for Africa's persistent inability to develop, corruption and totalitarianism are the primary causes.
Adjilbolosoo, S. (2005) Economic underdevelopment in Africa: The validity of the corruption argument. Review of Human Factor Studies, 11(1), 90-112.
Brea, J. (2008) Africa's greatest challenges: 10 reasons for Africa's Under-development. World News. Retrieved 6 May 2008 from
Obadina, T. (2008) Getting a measure of African poverty. Africa Economic Analysis. Retrieved 6 May 2008 from Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Underdevelopment in Africa Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words”, n.d.)
Underdevelopment in Africa Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words. Retrieved from
(Underdevelopment in Africa Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words)
Underdevelopment in Africa Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words.
“Underdevelopment in Africa Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Underdevelopment in Africa


...for the underdevelopment in Africa is the high level of corruption that prevails in the entire continent and continues to remain unchecked. This paper examines the extent to which corruption can be blamed for Africa’s underdevelopment by specifically referring to the case of Nigeria. In doing so, the internal and external causes of underdevelopment in Nigeria will be critically analyzed. The aim of this paper is to give an analytical perspective in order to understand why African countries have been unable to develop and to understand why sub-Saharan Africa has the reputation of being the most corrupt area in the world. The paper will...
26 Pages(6500 words)Dissertation

Explanations of Underdevelopment

Multinational corporations or MNC can broadly be defined as the business corporations that operate across the world and have operation units in different countries. They are not only equipped with huge financial resources but they also have significant abilities to transfer knowledge across the international market. Underdeveloped nations, on the other hand are not financially or otherwise equipped to exploit their own resources. Thus, they become highly attractive business propositions for multinational companies as they can exploit the vast market potential of the region. But that is not the whole truth. MNCs bring their knowledge and use their financial expertise to not only exploit host country’s resources but they also contri...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Official Development Assistance and Underdevelopment

...? Official Development Assistance and Underdevelopment What Gunder Frank and Wallerstein Would Say About Tied Aid This paper will look at the phenomenon of Official Development Assistance (ODA) using the insights of Andre Gunder Frank and the notion of “underdevelopment”, as well as the Dependency Theory, as lens of analysis. I will argue that ODA or “tied aid” keeps countries underdeveloped and exacerbates the gap between the global north and the global south. First, we begin by laying down the chosen theoretical framework. Frank’s main thesis is that contemporary underdevelopment is in large part the historical product of pas and continuing economic and other relations between the satellite underdeveloped and the now developed...
8 Pages(2000 words)Research Paper

Political Underdevelopment in Africa

... Political Underdevelopment in Africa Abstract This paper discusses the relationship between social, economic and political underdevelopment in Africa. In this case, the paper relates the main social issues of education and colonization, in its social perspective, to underdevelopment. On the other hand, the paper discusses the relationship of the key economic issue of corruption with political underdevelopment in Africa. Finally, the paper addresses the most useful measures of political development such as democratization, participatory politics, and national identity. Keywords: Africa, Democratization, political underdevelopment Introduction There are daunting challenges currently facing the continent of Africa. The continent...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Underdevelopment theory and poverty

...? UNDERDEVELOPMENT THEORY AND POVERTY Underdevelopment theory and poverty Underdevelopment is the process that allows advanced countries to influence the growth of developing countries through colonialism. For example, the advanced nations change agriculture in African countries that was a main source food to a subdivision of the agricultural system in a metropolitan area. This made the countries start producing agricultural products for economic instead of domestic purpose. Development is the process of satisfying the people’s basic needs. The political and economic influence of the advanced nations increases the poverty level by increasing the dependence of the developing world (Alavi & Shanin 1982, p 12). The underdevelopment theory...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay

Causes of Development and Underdevelopment

...? Causes of Development and Underdevelopment Causes of Development and Underdevelopment Over time, there has been an interest in improving the living conditions of people living in developing countries. This accompanies a growing concern about the widening gap between the developed countries and the less developed countries. There are varying explanations for causes of underdevelopment and the concepts of development. This paper seeks to discuss the arguments about the causes of development and underdevelopment. The paper shall highlight the most pronounced of these views and the social, political and economic forces backing each. The paper will comment on the strength of these views and close with my position on the explanation...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay


... Africa: A fragile peace one a bloodied continent The article, Africa: A fragile peace one a bloodied continent, was written by UN undersecretary general of peace keeping operations, Mr. Jean Marie Guehenno. It was published on International Herald Tribune on 29 January 2004. This article explains the bloody wars and internal agitations going on inside African continent and the future of peace keeping processes in Africa. The major points of this article are; Peace keeping efforts in Africa will meet success only if the African states and their supporters continue to be innovative and learn from their past mistakes. The killing of innocent people stopped up to certain extent in Africa. In many of the African countries wars and internal...
5 Pages(1250 words)Article


...Your Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa Food insecurity as a result of drought, famine, political instability, economical inadequacy, conflicts, and HIV has exposed 38 million African people to immediate threats of stability, security, and peace (Morris qtd. in Clover 6).This research paper analyses the article titled, “Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa” written by a researcher at Institute of Security Studies (ISS), Jenny Clover. The article was written in 2003 and published in African Security Review. The main objectives of the article are to understand the concept of food security and identify the factors that led to lack of food security in Africa in general and Sub-Saharan Africa in particular. Brief Summary Access to food...
5 Pages(1250 words)Article


... Africa’s Capitalist Revolutions Africa has faced a lot of problems since the end of colonialism. Poverty being the greatest problem in Africa it has resulted to the other problems that the continent faces. These problems include, conflict, epidemics, and economic turmoil. However, Africa’s economy has been growing steadily over the years, especially after the end of the cold war. The end of the cold war resulted in a lot of changes in Africa. The reason behind this is because Africa was no longer of interest since fears of whether it would fall into the United States of America’s capitalism or the United Social Soviet Union’s (USSSR) communism. This resulted in the continent losing its strategic significance (Kapstein 385). The economy...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

AIDS in Africa: Social and Economic Effects

...AIDS in Africa - Social and Economic Effects Poverty throughout the world is a major issue, one that needs to be addressed by the people present at the helm of affairs and those who can bring about a change in the living standards of the poor folks. Natural calamities and disasters do happen from time to time and it is only usual that companies and industries of sheer huge size and growth levels invest in purchasing materials that are equivalent to their budgets. They all play some part in getting notified of these recurring disasters which are not dependent on anything except God and nature. These happen from time to time and thus cannot be forecasted beforehand. However they can be controlled to quite a fair extent if proper disaster...
6 Pages(1500 words)Term Paper

Primary Health Care in South Africa

... – Epidemiological Country Profile on HIV and AIDS, viewed: March 26, 2009 from: <> UNAIDS, (2009). South Africa: HIV and AIDS Estimates, viewed: March 27, 2009 from: <> UNICEF (2009). South Africa: Basic Indicators, viewed: March 26, 2009, from: DPI (2003). Health, Environment and The Burden of Disease, viewed: March 27, 2009 from: Secondary Sources Nagle, G., (1998). Development and Underdevelopment, Nelson Thornes, Pp. 46 Wilkinson, R. G., (1996). Unhealthy Societies: The Afflictions of Inequality, Routledge, Pp. 3...
6 Pages(1500 words)Term Paper

Constraints of Small Business Development in South Africa

...Constraints of Small Business Development in South Africa Table of Contents Introduction 2. Definition of Small Business 3. Overview of the Small Business Context 4. Constraining Issues 4.1 The lack of effective support by the government 4.2 Social environment 4.3 Discrimination 4.4 Marketing 4.5 Ineffective HR policies 5. Recommendations 6. Conclusion References 1. Introduction The increase of competition in all industries worldwide has caused a series of alterations in existing business policies; firms of all sizes update their plans and proceed to the development of strategic alliances in order to face their competitors. The potentials of firms to stabilize their position in a particular market seems to be directly related...
7 Pages(1750 words)Research Paper

Out of Africa, Biological Adam and Eve

...Out of Africa, Biological Adam and Eve enter the Number or College 21st March, Part Introduction Human beings have always thought about where they come from. The existence of human race and its evolution have always been something of human interest. Many researchers have tried to prove their point of view as correct and logical but there are still some mysteries unsolved – some questions unanswered. As we grow in years, we hear about the stories of Adam and Eve in our schools and in religious sermons. All that we know about Adam and Eve is that they were the first human beings on earth. They were banished from heaven and sent to earth as punishment. Human brain inquires many questions over this small statement. Is this a true tale? Were...
8 Pages(2000 words)Term Paper

Apples Africa Strategy

... the economic situation of the countries in Africa are not yet totally accepting of these hi-tech gadgets some parts of the population is highly receptive of the promotions and advertisements of Apple devices. Brand reputation plays a crucial factor in this zone and strong marketing further promotes brand name for the company. It is in the key position to make use of this advantage and at the same time minimise risks associated with running business in the underdeveloped African countries. Weakness The products of Apple are not cheap. Due to their high price, the target population for Apple are the customers belonging to the high income group. Since the countries in Africa are still developing and shows low rates of economic growth...
9 Pages(2250 words)Case Study

Hunger in Africa: Causes and Effects

For over sixty years, the entire continent had been suffering from great famine and malnutrition which further lead to death among a number of individuals including poor innocent children. Parents are having a hard time giving their children sufficient and nutritious food to eat every day mainly because of poverty, poor and inadequate rainfall to water their plants and crops and high food prices. Most of the countries which are intensely affected by the hunger crisis are West Africa, South Sudan, East Africa, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania, Chad, Senegal, etc (“Fighting Hunger in Africa”). Currently, Africa is still suffering from this kind of crisis among its people and is still having difficulty in resolving t...
6 Pages(1500 words)Term Paper

A Memorable Visit to Africa

... A Memorable Visit to Africa Hard work has been appreciated as a critical component of human lives. However, even humans need time to rest and have their minds free of any engagements including academics. My best friend Abdool knows this so well and creates time to relax and reflect back on his achievements. Some time back when he cleared his high school education, Abdool sought to find a refreshing place where he would unwind and just relax. “I have put so much effort in my high school education and having graduated, I need time to relax and reflect on my past before moving forward,” Abdool said. Being a person who loves travelling, Abdool chose to spend about a week in the African jungles. As learnt from the experience he shared with me...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

Analysis of 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa by Stephanie Nolen

... 28 Stories of AIDS in Africa This is a non-fiction book written by Stephanie Nolen, a Canadian and a representative of Globe and mail Africa bureau in 2007. The book uses 28 Africans who have or have been affected by HIV/AIDS. By 2007, 28 million Africans had HIV/AIDS as reported by UNAIDS, which is why Nolen used the figure 28 to represent the whole lot, one person for every million infected. She spent relatively long time almost six years reporting on the effects of the disease, travelled all over the continent collecting stories of men, women and children fighting day in day out with the effects or with the disease itself which has greatly affected the African economic progress. She even went into an extent of witnessing the stories...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay

Social Media Growth and Politics in East Africa

Users can connect with people all over the world with diverse cultures and traditions. Through these platforms, users can share information, pictures, and ideas (Bryfonski, 2012). Lately, there has been a rapid pace in internet penetration in African countries. It has made it possible for the growing social media in recent years on the continent.
In Ethiopia, there is quite a low internet penetration as compared to other countries in East Africa like Kenya. Consequently, not many people have access to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The Ethiopian constitution guarantees the press its freedom. However, mass media, mainly the radio and television, are controlled by the government. In recent years, the gove...
6 Pages(1500 words)Term Paper

Addressing the Issue of Underdevelopment Among Countries

This paper will be looking at why some countries are said to be underdeveloped. What causes underdevelopment that is.
The task will go deep into what underdevelopment are its causes, its importance to development, to any country to work toward it. This way, it will become clear to have a multifaceted approach to underdevelopment and therefore understand vividly the underlying factors that limit countries from being developed and thus be said to be underdeveloped.
A developed country, to begin with, is that that provides high living standards of living for its people due to having reasonable per capita income and Gross Natural product (Bas, 2012). Looking at most countries in the West, the reader would realize that they...
8 Pages(2000 words)Term Paper

Religion and Social Change in West Africa

In terms of productivity, companies and writers use technology as a means of ensuring that written content can be accessed by different levels of customers requiring different formats.
Social change refers to changes in the way individuals in a community interact with their immediate environment and factors that challenge their being. In this sense, social change takes into account the manner in which people co-exist with one another taking into consideration factors that shape how these individuals survive within the society. For instance, the 21st century has invited social change that is driven by a number of factors among them new education systems, the use of virtual intelligence for surveillance reasons, organized gove...
8 Pages(2000 words)Assignment
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Underdevelopment in Africa for FREE!

Contact Us