While the world’s poorest countries are found in Africa, the world’s richest minerals are also found in Africa. Poverty in Africa is perverse and exists on a large scale. I think Africa is poor because many Africans do not know what they want.
Otherwise how would Africa be poor with such huge mineral resources? It is not laziness or ignorance as some biased analysts say.
Kathleen Winsor a contemporary American Novelist says “Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to what they want to do.”
This is common in Africa. The day majority of Africans get to know what they want and how to get it and stops chasing the wind; I am sure they will cease to be poor.
According to my own understanding, poverty is in the mind. Otherwise, prosperity does not require supernatural powers as some Christian believers think. Karl Max regarded poverty as the evil of society where few own the means of production and the majority is forced to sell their human labour.
This evil is not unstoppable! If other countries can prosper, then what stops African countries?
Africa is poor because of hopelessness, diseases, famine, breakdown in moral values, irrelevant education policies, dictatorship, military adventurism, heightened ethnic tensions, intolerance, nepotism, overpopulation, a crumbling infrastructure, debt burden, wars and refugee problem etc.
And all these vices can be avoided. It is widely known that where there’s no hope and vision, people perish.
Most of Africans are hopeless and desperate because of their bad history. They have been made to believe that Africa is truly a dark continent even when they have gone to school, and that there is nothing bright in it and therefore it has led to massive brain drain and unpatriotic movement, thus Africa becoming the poorest continent.
Africa is also poor because of food insecurity. This is caused by land scarcity and use of primitive technology.
The South Commission report agrees with Karl Max in defining poverty, but it adds that poverty is the difference in science and technology as the means of production. Food insecurity is further caused by poor soils, unpredictable weather and lack of enough livestock.
Africa is poor because of poor quality education. The World Bank document mentions three weaknesses in Africa’s higher education.
These are: an output mix that is no longer suited to the requirements of development, poor quality of output and excessively high costs of production.
Tertiary institutions have failed to meet actual needs of people. The education provided is not relevant to the development needs of the country. We have a huge number of parasitic graduates instead of self employable that can create micro-enterprises.
There is little properly educated and developed human resource in Africa, which has led to loss of moral standards and culture. Olsen (1988) emphasizes that, “When moral values are in a crisis, then the material things of life will go from good to bad to worse, with catastrophic change of the quality of human existence and the uncalculated destruction of the fabric of a civilized society...”
He further continues to say that in the financial world we speak about bankruptcy, but economic bankruptcy is generally preceded by bankruptcy of values and moral standards.
Moral excellence is therefore, at the heart of man’s every existence, and dictates his well being. Criminality is one of the social ills that now define Africa as a continent that has lost its way.
There is now a widespread impression that Africa is the crime continent of the world, due to lack of ethics and integrity.
Africa is poor due to bad and poor leadership. It is estimated that eight million Africans live as refuges and a further ten million are displaced.
Some of these wars are perpetrated by African leaders themselves, with instigation from former colonial masters in what might be called surrogate colonialism.
While the world’s poorest countries are found in Africa, the world’s richest presidents are also found in Africa.
The major psychological instinct of a natural desire to be on top which is a dominant desire in all human beings has affected most African leaders. An individual wants to be above the rest, a tribe exercises tendencies to rule over others and one group wishes to dominate the other groups.
Africa is poor because it is told that it is poor and Africans have embraced this false prophesy and in the process, they have lost hope and ambition. The day Africa ceases to think that it is poor; Poverty will come to an end in Africa.