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African Economic History - Essay Example

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Speaking about Africa,at first we should mention that is the poorest country in the world with its 887 million people population.And it became even poorer than it was some 20 years ago. …
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African Economic History
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African Economic History Speaking about Africa, at first we should mention that is the poorest country in the world with its 887 million people population. And it became even poorer than it was some 20 years ago. We could see Africa's regress looking on the foreign trade, international investments and the people's living standard. But there is variation in Africa's wealth. There is a difference in annual income per person: north and south states are wealth, and the east Africa, on the contrary, is poor. A great contribution in Africa's poverty was made by the numbers of wars that Africa had had since the time it became an independent country. Its poor resources Africa's rebels spent on the military equipment and provisions for the warriors. The country overcame the civil and international wars. (Gleave, and Morgan 139) The Cold War triggered a great conflict between the African states. Given from another countries money aid was spent on the weapons and the donor countries shut their eyes to the wrong usage of their investments. In the region of the Great Lakes were the civil wars: in Somalia, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Ivory Coast and Liberia. And of course we should mention the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) that raged in the 1990s. ("Niger, Country, Africa")
Experts say this war dubbed Africa's First World War. The participants were six neighbouring states (Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, and Angola). This war was a result of genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and the fall of President Mobutu with his decayed state. (Gleave, and Morgan 139) At the end of this war 4 million people were dead, and mostly all of the victims were civilians. The remarkable thing of the war, however, was the transfer from apartheid to majority rule in South Africa. By the end of 1990-s Somalia had still no government. And a lack of authority left it in a state of economic weakness and vulnerability, but on the other hand the conflict rate was low. ("Niger, Country, Africa")
The wars in Africa in the 1990s were had different objectives and purposes. But despite this we can highlight the main causes of them. First of all it is the weakness and corruption and the high level of armament of the belligerents. Then multiple participants had political and economic motivations for the war to begin. (Bondzi-Simpson) And the last one common feature of these wars was the brutality of the means involved: mass murder, amputation, starvation, rape and cannibalism. And the most unthinkable thing is that in the country, amazingly rich in natural resources, the ordinary people lives in a desperate poverty. The consequence of Africa's low GDP is low standard of living. (Bondzi-Simpson) There are wealthy groups of people in Africa which belongs to elite only. The rest of African population is extremely poor, and this poverty doesn't correspond to a nation's wealth. The most valuable exports of Africa are petroleum and minerals. The South Africa has a reserves of gold, diamonds, and copper. And Nigeria and Libya exports petroleum. There are diamond mines in Angola, and the state earns annually large sums of money. (Gleave, and Morgan 139)
However, after a Cold War period this process is stagnated. Technological progress as automobiles, TVs, computers and Internet are luxuries to African population. The rate of infant mortality is high, almost all the inhabitants of the country are illiterate and uneducated. There are educated people in Africa but all of them choose to leave the country and to go to the West to look for a better life. Also the natural disasters have added to the weak economy, for example famines or drought, and the plagues of locusts. There is a high rate of unemployment in Africa. Before the face of starvation farmers don't think about the rarity of an animal before killing it or the fate of rainforest. And Africans also gain from elephants' ivory which leads to illegal poaching. (Gleave, and Morgan 139)
There were many attempts of the international governments designed to solve the Africa's poverty, but yet they were of a little success.
Works Cited
1. Bondzi-Simpson, P. Ebow, ed. The Law and Economic Development in the Third World. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1992. >.
2. "Niger, Country, Africa." The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. 2004.
3. Ezeala-Harrison, Fidelis, and Senyo B-S. K. Adjibolosoo, eds. Perspectives on Economic Development in Africa. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1994.
4. Gleave, M B, and W B Morgan. "Economic Development in Tropical Africa from a Geographical Perspective: A Comparative Study of African Economies." The Geographical Journal 167.2 (2001): 139. Read More
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