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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Africa: Poverty in a Resource-Rich Continent

When the continent of Africa is ever mentioned in a conversation, it is usually with a negative connotation. It’s a sad reality that the continent of Africa is the biggest example of poverty in human history. There are countries in the continent displaying the greatest amount of wealth in the world, but compared to the other continents, excluding Antarctica, Africa is unfairly poor.

When I say unfairly, I really mean it. While countries in other continents have established trade policies with one another, African countries receive the short end of the stick. There are many companies which find ways to not fully pay taxes when doing trades with some of the poorer African countries, saving these companies billions of dollars that could potentially benefit these under-fortunate countries.

In an article on poverties.org titled “Causes of Poverty in Africa: Lost Continent or Land of Opportunities?” author Dario Berrebi states, “The west needs Africa’s resources desperately,” and this is very true. Resources such as platinum, Iron, zinc, chrome, phosphate, potassium, nickel, and oil are some of the most valuable in the world. Most of these are materials needed to make small objects such as phones and computers, or are used for much larger vehicles such as cars and planes.

Taking a look at the the GDP for African countries in 2015, it can be concluded that the richest country in Africa at that time was Nigeria, with a GDP of $1,192 in millions. Following behind with $995.97 million GDP is Egypt, followed by South Africa with $724.01 million. Now compare this to the GDP of the 25th richest country in 2015, which is Oman, with a GDP of $38,631, shows that even the richest countries in Africa cannot stand a chance with the rest of the countries in the world in the economic competition.

The question now is why can’t African countries succeed when they have all of these resources? Some of these countries should have a stable economy. The answers boil down to a variety of things, but the majority of them have to do with environmental factors. A large portion of Africa is desert, and this prevents the people there from being able to expand. To add on to this, there are many dangerous animals that live in Africa. It said that Africa is the continent with the most types of creatures that are equipped to kill anything. The harsh living conditions combined with the cruel animals make economic growth in Africa a grueling task.

The biggest reason why I believe there are so many poor African countries, though, is because of the lack of education. I believe education is the most important factor when it come to improving a country. When education is neglected, it takes a much longer time for progress to occur. This is because education will help the population understand the importance of productivity and creativity. When a population is productive, they are more able to make  improvements for basic needs using creative methods. These skills are then passed to neighboring populations, educating more people. In a few years, there would be an increase of educated people and, at the same time, the poverty levels would decrease as well.