Poverty in Africa is a multifaceted challenge. No one reason can be attributed to this. African countries have a long history of internal strife, corruption, natural calamities, global warming, and other reasons that cause poverty in Africa.
At present, more than 200 million people in Africa live in poverty. This results in many challenges like stunting, chronic malnutrition, high infant mortality, low school attendance, and much more. Solving these challenges requires us to first understand their causes, which can then help us get a proper solution.
Corruption has always been one of the major causes of poverty in Africa. This is because many in the local governments place more emphasis on their personal relationships rather than the good of the country. Studies say this attitude has resulted in more than $150 billion in lost revenue to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Eventually, the biggest losers are the poor, who do not get essential resources when needed or have to run from pillar to post to get access to their rightful share of resources.
Malpractices and red tape by public officials eventually result in pushing the poor further into poverty. Delay in crucial infrastructure development and poor implementation of schemes for the poor results in punishing poverty that does not subside. Due to this, many humanitarian aid organizations help people in need by working on the ground directly, mostly to ensure that the aid does not go into the wrong hands.
Lack of a proper education denies people education opportunities that could help them fend for themselves. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of people who do not have a proper education. It is estimated that about 60 percent of youth in the region are out of school.
Studies show that education for girls helps them have a healthier life for themselves and their children. Education also solves many problems like child marriage, female genital mutilation, domestic abuse, teenage pregnancies, and others.
Poor people in developing countries of Africa lack access to affordable healthcare. If anyone in the family does need medical treatment, the family either borrows beyond their means or denies that person medical treatment. This attitude can be dangerous, especially for infectious diseases like COVID-19, Tuberculosis, and others.
The poor in Africa have to suffer the most for follies they didn’t commit. Climate change results in greater instances of crop failure, long periods of drought, and devastating floods. When there is nothing to eat, people either go to desperate measures or skip meals. This leads to another problem- hunger and malnutrition for children. Unless concrete steps are taken by all countries to arrest the effects of climate change, the poor in developing countries of Africa would be at a clear disadvantage.
War and internal conflicts
When people are caught in-between warring parties, they lose access to food, education, employment, and much more. In many sub-Saharan African countries, civil wars and internal conflicts are going on for decades. Here, it is the poor who suffer the most as they lose their livelihood, homes, and other possessions. Those who become refugees elsewhere too, face the same problems and remain poor due to inadequate access to crucial resources.
Ending poverty in Africa needs dedicated efforts from all stakeholders. At the Catholic Connect foundation, we help local African parishes and other aid organizations collect funds and resources to help the poor and feed the hungry.
You too, can contribute to this effort and get God’s blessings. A small donation of $15 per month would be enough to feed the mouths of a few and get their blessings.