5 hard facts and forecasts about poverty in Africa that will either sadden or fascinate you

Spread the love

5 hard facts and forecasts about poverty in Africa that will either sadden or fascinate you.

The very mention of the word “poverty” ignites various kinds of unpleasant feelings in people. And this is not surprising. Poverty is arguably the most dreaded living condition ever known to mankind, feared by both those who have experienced it and those who haven’t. The hopelessness and absolute sense of lack and dependency that are associated with the phenomenon are some of the reasons everyone avoids it. But for some people, poverty remains a daily reality, no matter how much they try to wish it away.

5 hard facts and forecasts about poverty in Africa that will either sadden or fascinate you.

First fact about poverty in Africa

In Africa where the world’s highest concentration of poor people are currently located, the situation is agonisingly pitiable. According to Brookings, one in every three Africans live below the global poverty line, thus representing 422 million Africans or 70% of the world’s poorest of the poor.

But the situation is not absolutely hopeless, as we shall see shortly. First, let us quickly take a look at the six causes of poverty in Africa, according to SOS Children’s Villages.

Excessive and uncontrolled population growth: There is a saying that too much of everything is bad. The same goes for Africa’s explosive population growth. As the continent’s population continues to grow rapidly, developmental efforts and economic growth cannot keep up with the increasing number of people in need. And this widens the poverty line.

War and crises: Another major cause of poverty in Africa is war and other forms of conflicts. As you may well know, there are many of such in Africa. A recent article by Business Insider Africa detailed some of the continent’s conflict hotspots. And one thing that is common among them all is poverty.

Climatic conditions: Many African countries have been plagued by devastating floods, droughts and other forms of extreme weather which result in crop failures; thus, encouraging extreme poverty.

Illnesses: Sick people cannot create wealth. That’s exactly why there is a saying that goes thus: “health is wealth”. Unfortunately, millions of people across Africa are suffering from one form of disease or the other. And with these sicknesses come poverty.

Inadequate agricultural infrastructure: According to SOS Children’s Villages, many African countries lack adequate expertise and infrastructure to manage their agriculture sectors. Necessary infrastructures like roads, wells, irrigation systems and storage facilities, etc., are lacking. And this encourages poverty.

Unjust trade structures: Lastly, another major factor that causes and encourages poverty in Africa is unjust global trades. According to SOS Children’s Villages, some of the world’s richest countries are known to create unjust trade structures by “shielding their markets with high agricultural tariffs and heavily subsidising their own agriculture.” This slows down African country’s ability to develop their agriculture sectors, a situation that inevitably encourages poverty.

Second fact about poverty in Africa

According to a research by the African Union Development Agency, poverty affected 46% of Africa’s population between 1996 and 2005. It is also projected to affected 35% of the population between 2016 and 2025.

Third fact about poverty in Africa

A 2016 report by the World Bank disclosed that while poverty in Africa has noticeably declined over the years, it still remains a major problem. Kathleen Beegle, a Lead Economist at the World Bank and co-author of the report, explained the situation thus: “Although the data show that the share of the African population in extreme poverty did decline, major poverty challenges still remain, especially in light of the region’s rapid population

Fourth fact about poverty in Africa

The COVID-19 pandemic increased the level of poverty in Africa. Well, this probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to you because the outcome was very much expected. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD), this is how the pandemic has influenced poverty in Africa:

“While in 2019, 478 million people lived in extreme poverty, it is estimated that in 2021, 490 million people in Africa live under the poverty line of 1.90 PPP$/day, and this is 37 million people more than what was projected without the pandemic.”

Fifth fact/forecast about poverty in Africa

Now, this is the fascinating part. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Africa won’t remain the world’s poorest continent forever. This is because it is expected that by the year 2065, only 1.7% of Africa’s population will live in extreme poverty, as against the current projection of 35%.

Mariam Saleh, a Research Expert at Statista, was quoted to have explained how this would happen. She said this:

“The continent’s socio-demographics will experience a significant development, including considerable population growth. Moreover, improving health and social conditions will determine lower poverty levels as well as an increase in life expectancy.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *