Although Africa is rich in resources, it is the world’s poorest continent. The leading causes of poverty on the continent are corruption and poor governance, limited employment opportunities, poor infrastructure, poor resource usage, Civil Wars and constant conflicts, diseases and World Bank and IMF policies, among others. Some persons have gone as far as attributing the poverty in Africa to spiritual causes.
- CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
- CAPITAL – Bangui CURRENCY – Central African Franc
Despite its significant mineral resources; uranium reserves in Bakouma, crude oil, gold, diamonds, lumber, hydropower, timber and its arable land, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The agricultural sector generates more than half of GDP. Wood and diamonds account for most export earnings, followed by cotton. Important constraints to economic development include the CAR’s landlocked geography, poor transportation system, largely unskilled workforce. The country has a population of more than 5.6 million. A significant portion of the population is homeless.
- DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
- CAPITAL- Kinshasa CURRENCY – Congolese Franc
Not to be mistaken for the neighbouring Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the 16th most populous country in the world. DR Congo is also the largest French-speaking country in the world – the population of D.R Congo is about 82 million. Since its independence in 1960 DR Congo has been plagued by systemic corruption, conflict and external debt.
- CAPITAL – Bujumbura CURRENCY – Burundi Franc
Burundi fourth poorest country in the world. Burundi is known for its tribal and has a perpetual civil war. Burundi is a resource-poor country with a weak manufacturing sector. Agriculture accounts for over 40% of GDP and employs more than 90% of the population. Burundi’s primary exports are coffee and tea, which account for more than 60% of foreign exchange earnings.
- CAPITAL –Monrovia CURRENCY – Liberian Dollars
Liberia is one of the few countries in Africa that have not colonized by Europe. It was founded and colonized by freed slaves from America. These slaves made up the elite of the country and they established a government that closely resembled that of the United States of America. It is richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture. Its principal exports are iron ore, rubber, diamonds, and gold. Appetite for foreign aid has been the major cause of poverty in Liberia. Liberia is one of the few countries in Africa that have not colonised by Europe. It was founded and colonised by freed slaves from America. These slaves made up the elite of the country, and they established a government that closely resembled that of the United States of America. It is richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favourable to agriculture. Its principal exports are iron ore, rubber, diamonds, and gold. Appetite for foreign aid has been the leading cause of poverty in Liberia.
- CAPITAL – Niamey CURRENCY – West African CFA Franc
About 80% of its land is desert. Political instability fuels Niger’s poverty. Niger’s economy depends primarily on farming and livestock. Niger has some of the world’s largest uranium deposits. Agriculture contributes approximately 25% of GDP and provides a livelihood for 87% of the population. The UN ranked Niger as the second least developed country in the world in 2016. The country is also heavily indebted.
- CAPITAL – Lilongwe CURRENCY – Malawian kwacha
Malawi has one of the lowest per capita incomes in the world. Malawi ranks among the world’s most densely populated and least developed countries. The country’s economic performance has historically been constrained by policy, instability, limited connectivity to other regions and the world, poor infrastructure, corruption, high population growth, poor health and, education outcomes that limit labour productivity. The economy is predominately agricultural with about 80% of the population living in rural areas. Agriculture accounts for about one-third of GDP and 80% of export revenues. Tobacco accounts for more than half of exports.
- CAPITAL – Maputo CURRENCY – Meticais
More than half the population lives below the poverty line. Subsistence agriculture continues to employ the vast majority of the country’s workforce. Citizens rioted in September 2010 after fuel, water, electricity, and bread price increases were announced. Mozambique’s once substantial foreign debt was reduced through forgiveness and rescheduling under the IMF’s Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Enhanced HIPC initiatives
- CAPITAL – Conakry CURRENCY – Guinean Francs
Guinea is a developing country of approximately 13 million people. Guinea has the world’s largest reserves of bauxite and largest untapped high-grade iron ore reserves, as well as gold and diamonds. Besides, Guinea has fertile soil, ample rainfall, and is the source of several West African rivers, including the Senegal, Niger, and Gambia. Following the death of long-term President Lansana CONTE in 2008 and the coup that followed, international donors, including the G-8, the IMF, and the World Bank, significantly curtailed the development programs in Guinea with their lending policies.
- CAPITAL – Asmara CURRENCY – Nakfa
Eritrea is a developing country with severe drought. Economic policies restrictive and under the control of the sole political party, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice. Nearly 80% in Eritreans are engaged in subsistence agriculture, but the sector only produces a small share of the country’s total output.
- CAPITAL – Antananarivo Currency – Malagasy Ariary
Madagascar is a free market economy with many untapped natural resources. Madagascar has no capital markets; their judicial system is weak, contracts poorly enforced, there too much corruption in government. Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is a mainstay of the economy, accounting for more than one-fourth of GDP and employing roughly 80% of the population. Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by bushfire and the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are a major problem.