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Poverty in Africa

poverty in africa

All over Africa, people are getting up, girding their loins and demanding real freedom from poverty, which has made a mockery of their independence status. It is quite clear that the independence that they celebrated with such pomp and pageantry those 30 years ago was a sham; a disgraceful pretence and their hope that with democracy, they would be able to make real progress in the economic front are yet to be met. Indisputably, Africa is poor today because her independence up to now has not included economic freedom and they are caught by forces at international level that combine to form a three-tiered trap – lack of productive asset, constant population growth, and incompetence and corruption of their leaders. While other nations of the world specialize in winning, Africa is loosing greatly.

In economic and industrial sense, however, the difference between developed and developing countries is still a reality. Lack of land has been an unscrappable problem in Africa because land is less scarce and collective tribal land-holding arrangement moderate inequality. The ownership of farmland is concentrated in the hands of fortunate few. The skewed land ownership in some part of the world has remained the same in Africa. Admittedly, as years pass by, many companies sprang up like mushrooms and produced excessive competition, yet it did not last long because the force behind.

Combined with the momentous force of population growth, misadministration of land pushes even more of the poor Africans into the vulnerable position of being farmers without land. As millions of poor families divide already small farms between their children, plots become too small to provide subsistence and the government land decree in some of these countries weakens people’s zeal for farming. But for few zealous farmers, the mechanization of agriculture on some regions has displaced millions more, as commercial operators that rarely exist in Africa expel sharecroppers, squatters and small holders.

The second trap of poverty in Africa is physical growth and illness, lacking consistent nourishment, clean water, basic medical care and sufficient housing space to avoid rapid spread of infection, the poor are chronically weakened by diseases. Physical weakness can be combined with low earning to form a vicious: circle for lack of food; the poor have no energy to work; for lack of work the poor have no money to buy food.

Some decades ago, companies sprang up from Africa and performed well. Not until recently, the limited growth of investment innovations has constrained the Labour absorption capacity to the non-agricultural sector especially manufacturing, thereby aggravating the poverty situation especially in the urban areas. In addition, transitional problems related to difficulties in managing transformation from high cost industries hardly dependent on imports and the impact of globalization on domestic industries that are unable to compete with imported substitute appear to have contributed to the limited growth of domestic production and employment. This situation constrains the options for exit from poverty. International evidence from countries in roughly comparable circumstances also suggest that the savings propensity in Africa is on the low side, providing weak underpinning for the sustained domestic investment growth needed as an essential weapon in the fight against poverty in Africa.

The growing income inequality has contributed significantly to the worsening of the poverty situation in Africa. Economic growth in Africa has been far from being inclusive, and that those within the nexus of public sector management have tended generally to benefit more from economic growth than those outside. So, economic governance problems in Nigeria have contributed to the deterioration of both absolute and relative poverty.

In its various dimensions, unhealthy economic governance including corruption is generally believed to have continues significantly to the poverty situation in Africa for example, governance problems are widely thought to be among the major reasons for the limited effectiveness of past poverty alleviation programmes in some African countries. The capacity of individuals and businesses to exploit the well-known potentials of the economy for their own economic betterment has also been generally hampered by the several informal costs associated with corruption in the society.

The economic and social dissociations caused by internal conflict have also impacted negatively on the economic well being of individuals and businesses in various ways. Such conflicts often lead to loss of lives for principal income earners in many families and the government, and stagnant movement in the development of the country involved. Those not displaced from conflict areas often thereafter face reduced and inadequate infrastructure and other facilities needed for decent living. The uncertainties associated with actual or potential conflict tend to discourage serious in-country commitment of investment, domestic as well as foreign.

Inter-sectoral problems have been suggested as another force for poverty in Africa. Africa has a limited urban area and larger rural areas, which is about 70 % of total population. But rural sector has been facing relatively more serious poverty problems than urban areas. The factor can be attributed to the urban areas and the consequent aging of the rural population and how output of rural, especially agricultural production, partly due to limited access to credit, pesticides, extension services and modern technology for agricultural production, processing and preservation. In addition, the continuing flow of the rural into the urban population, the pressure on limited urban resources increases steadily thereby complicating the already existing urban poverty situation.

Other factor affecting the poverty in Africa include persistence variable economic policies which discourage potential investors from participating in personal or corporate economic development ventures, poor maintenance and often total decadence of in high production costs, limited growth of employment opportunities and blockages of avenues of escape from the vicious circle of poverty coupled with high depth servicing allocation of high economic returns from investments and finally the relatively high population growth rate of 2.63 percent per year, which places or creates a significant drawback on increases in income per capita needed to fight poverty.

Finally, it is clear that nothing in our century has produced much concern to the international community on more unbelievable scale than the solution to poverty in Africa.In recent years, the history of African poverty has reached to a fat height. Before the independence of some African countries, developed nations established contact with Africans for trading purposes, but those factors above contributed to low volume of trade and development. Regardless of the terminology used to describe poverty in Africa, it has remained poverty. Anyway, the answer to the question of poverty in Africa is a matter of opinion. In my own established opinion, I believe trade is the solution to poverty in Africa.

Finally, it is clear that nothing in our century has produced much concern to the international community on more unbelievable scale than the solution to poverty in Africa.
Published: 2008-08-23
Author: emmanuel ugokwe

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