February 11th, 2014 | Vanduyse
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Generally, poverty arises due to lack of resource or wealth. However, this is not entirely true as far as Africa is concerned. Africa has a large deposit of natural resources – be it gold, minerals or oil.
Despite being resourceful, there are more prominent reasons as to why Africa is so embedded in poverty, while all other developing regions continue to reduce their poverty rates.
Lack of political governance and corrupted governments is a key reason behind the endless poverty in the African region. Most of the African countries do not have a government with a strong establishments. Some governments have been toppled off with military coups. Lack of strong institutions, regulations and disciplines make it real hard for anyone to fight against poverty. Furthermore, most corrupted governments spend the money received from the international community as aids on strengthening their military power, by purchasing more weaponry and employing more soldiers. Hence the aids don’t go as far as to reach the poor population who is really in need of it. Unstable and weak governments are often prone to coups and wars. Different tribal communities in these countries seek to obtain power away from the current rule, as they would get access to all the resources and aids. Such conflicts will worsen the situation of the poor, since during the civil war conditions, even the international aid groups are unable to support the people in need.
Natural disasters such as draught, sand storms and flooding, and poor environmental conditions such as deserts regularly hit the rural areas of Africa, followed by the aftermath of spreading deadly diseases. For instance the South African country Lesotho faced a severe drought in 2006, which was the worst in nearly 30 years. The existing few fresh water resources, as well as agriculture was totally destroyed, destroying the income of several thousands of people. The government of Lesotho was forced to declare it a national disaster and request aid from the international community. Further, despite the fact that Africa holds several major rivers and large freshwater lakes, the amount of clear drinking water is very rare in Africa. This is a severe issue for both rural and urban parts of Africa – even for the major cities like Cairo and Kinshasa. Due to the water crisis, water-borne diseases on the other hand infect the infants and children severely. It accounts for a large number of child deaths each year in the African continent.
As mentioned earlier, most African countries also lack proper entrepreneur leaderships. Although there are resources like mineral and oil, lack of proper infrastructure to develop a good business process to harness them is a massive disadvantage. The existing few business either do not provide quality products or they are unable to find the proper markets. This lack in the industry and service sector deprives the African region from getting a stable economic development. Also, the infrastructure development is in a very poor condition. They have very weak transport, road and water supply systems. Hence, in order to overcome the poverty in Africa, you need a significant facelift on its business and economical competence, which can’t be achieved overnight or without proper planning and funding. First of all, basic infrastructure such as roads, transportation, electricity and telecommunication need to be developed to an acceptable level.
Apparently, getting Africa out of poverty is more challenging that it looks on the surface. As been done for the past few decades, just supplying subsidiaries and material aids alone would not be sufficient to get Africa to combat its poverty. A lot of effort needs to be put in the form of education, social development and infrastructure development in order to help Africa to recover from this century old disaster.