Despite being labeled as a developing country, the beautiful African continent lies scattered with poverty-stricken countries, battling against political strife, civil wars, poor economic development policies and the embezzlement of public funding. Africa is the second largest continent in the world and boasts 54 sovereign states but according to Global Finance Magazine, the overall ranking of the world’s poorest countries is frequently dominated by those in Africa.
The poorest countries in Africa all boast a history of being under authoritarian, corrupt regimes which are a big deterrent to foreign investors regardless of copious amounts of natural resources and are in desperate need of international intervention to secure the subsistence of millions of African citizens.
The 3 African countries most affected by poverty according to a GDP analysis are:
3. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
The DRC is the second-largest country on the African continent and boasted a population of 81,680,000 in 2015. Although rich in natural resources the country has been ripped apart by severe political unrest. President Kabila, who took over the position from his father (who was assassinated in 2001) is known for his radical approaches to political issues. There have been numerous warnings from opposition groups of a civil war should Kabila refuse to step down at the end of his mandate. A United Nations peacekeeping force consisting of 18,000 troops remain in the DRC with the World Bank reporting that economic recovery and peacekeeping are being enforced.
The small country of Burundi still bears the scars of the Hutu-Tutsi fuelled conflict and civil war. Former Hutu rebel, President Pierre Nkurunziza succeeded in winning his third term during a controversial election marred by a boycott after a botched coup. The European Union, Burundi’s largest benefactor, cut all funding to the government in an attempt to force the President into political talks. Burundi is a resource-poor country with a very underdeveloped manufacturing section. The economy of the country is mainly dependent on agriculture which employs 90% of the population but only accounts for a little more than 30% of the GDP.
1. Central African Republic (CAR)
The Central African Republic is the world’s most under-developed nation and Africa’s most impoverished country with the average life expectancy to be a dismal 43 years. The CAR has suffered a great deal of political discord and corruption has threatened to tear it to pieces. According to the World Bank, approximately three-quarters of the population is said to live in extreme poverty with up to 13.5% facing the HIV/AIDS pandemic.For the first time since the country’s independence from France in 1960 it boasts a democratically elected President, Faustin-Archange Touadera. The successful election of a president was noted as a positive step towards reconstructing the nation and uplifting the ban on diamond exports. An impressive US$250 million program to assist in rebuilding the country was recently approved by the World Bank.
Albert Einstein once said “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing”. No truer words have ever been spoken. You can take away a person’s livelihood but you can never take away a person’s courage. As dire as things may be in parts of Africa there will always be hope for a brighter future.
About the Author : “Now working as a writer, Jackie started her career as a foreign aid worker, but after becoming a mom refocused and decided to spend more time with her family. When she’s not writing, she volunteers for a number of local mental health charities and also has a menagerie of pets to look after”