The idea or theory that poverty in Africa is as a result of population explosion is partly false. This ideology has been spread and promoted by European and American governments, and organizations through their media, and the whole world, especially African states have bought the lie.
Africa’s population is not the reason for poverty in Africa. Africa has the resources (human, land and natural) to feed and provide for her population for thousands of years to come. If the population was a disadvantage and the cause for poverty, then countries like China would not have been so economically strong that they now challenge America for the throne of “Best Economy”.
Africa’s poverty is as a result of centuries of European, Arab, American and now Asian adventure in the continent. Foreign powers and companies for more than 500 years have set up shop in Africa, milking her of her human and natural resources.
There are numerous ways which the adventure of the white man has affected Africa, and is continuously making her poor. Below we will outline the direct and indirect causes of poverty in Africa:
Many people in the world, especially Caucasians, have downplayed the effects of slavery in Africa. They expect Africans to simply forget and move on. But how does Africa move on when the after-effects of almost 1000years of invasions and slavery, is still evident in many African nations.
To solidify the fact that the slave trade is partly responsible for Africa’s underdevelopment, a quick look at the different parts of Africa where slaves were taken from is important. Any unbiased and keen eye will observe that the poorest regions of Africa today, are the areas from which the largest number of slaves were collected over the last 1000years.
Slavery reduced the population of Africa by half. Those who were taken in their millions were vital to the economy of Africa, through their various skills and occupations. And after hundreds of years, this created a vacuum – one that is still yet unfilled. Women and younger men took on the jobs of those sold into slavery – this led to less productivity, and in turn, dealt a huge blow to the economy of many regions in Africa.
A study carried out by Nuun (2010), fully gave the quantitative results of the effect of slavery on Africa’s economic development. The calculations of the study, initially noted that the mean level of average per capita income of African nations was $1,834 (measured in 2000), while that of the rest of the world was $8,809. The figures for Africa is even lower than that of many developing countries, whose average per capita income is $4,868.
According to this study, if slavery had not happened, 72% of the average income gap between Africa and the rest of the world would be none existent today. Also, there is a humongous 99% gap in income between Africa and the rest of the continents of the world.
This 99% income gap would not have existed if there was no slavery. So, it is safe to say that Africa’s underdevelopment is as a direct influence of slavery; and if not for slavery and European and Arab invasions, Africa would be a first world continent, with some of the best economies.
Also, on major negative effects of slavery, which leads to poverty in Africa, is the disintegration of political structures and entities. This destruction of political structures, in turn, led to weaker ethnic groups, who became subject to the struggle for survival by various ethnic groups. The ethnic fragmentation also led to prejudice and nepotism, which in turn promotes incompetency in governance.
KILLING OF MILLIONS OF AFRICANS:
The mass murder of millions of Africans, till today, remains a heavy blow to the economy of Africa. When we consider that wealth and economies are built over time, by descendants, we would fully understand the gap that was created when Europeans and Arabs pillaged and murdered Africans. Those who were killed were the middle and upper class – fathers, mothers, uncles, aunties, chiefs, soldiers, members of local law courts, and everyone whose vocation and skill contributed to the economy of his/her community.
Their deaths meant that their skills and knowledge were not transferred to the younger generation. The younger ones were left to fend for themselves with others in the community. Although the average African child belongs to the community, you still can’t remove the importance of a father and mother figure, and the grooming that comes with it.
Over human history, civilizations have risen to great heights because of the individual and collective efforts of the people. Inventions which were discovered by one man has lifted various ethnic nationalities in Africa and the world. So, imagine the number of inventions and breakthroughs which were snuffed out by killing inventors, scientists, and scholars among many others in Africa.
Till today, Africa has not recovered from the millions of her people killed due to European and Arab adventures in the black continent.
LOOTING OF RESOURCES THROUGH CONQUEST:
African kingdoms and empires lost (and continue to lose) lands, gold, mineral, and natural resources, treasures and ancient artifacts to Europe, Arabia, America, and recently Asia. When one calculates the value of the looted treasures and resources of Africa, it would be clear that no continent in the world would have been as rich as Africa, if Europe and Arabia didn’t invade Africa.
Even in the next 500 years, Europe, America, Asia, and Arabia cannot completely payback what was/is stolen/looted from Africa.
Till today, Africa’s gold, silver, and diamonds, running into hundreds of trillions of dollars are sitting in the treasury of foreign empires and governments. If that gold alone, is giving back to Africa, it will back a unified African currency, and make Africa the strongest continent on the face of the earth.
Africa should be the one sending relief materials and aid to other nations of the world, not the other way around. But after over 500 years of looting, European and Arabian nations now boast of a better economy, and in turn, now blames Africa’s re-emerging population as the reason for her poverty. They should hide their heads in shame, when they discuss Africa because the backwardness Africa faces now, is a direct result of foreign greed and looting.
CONTINOUS MINING OF NATURAL AND MINERAL RESOURCES WITH HELP OF CORRUPT POLITICIANS:
All over Africa today, there is aggressive mining and extraction of mineral and natural resources by foreign corporations, governments and entities. And this is aided by corrupt African politicians. Over time, the good politicians who have Africa’s interest at heart have been ousted or killed by foreign initiative, and this leaves only the corrupt ones who will do the bidding of their save masters in Europe, America, Arabia, and Asia.
Today, there are various mining companies extracting crude oil, cobalt, gold, Platinum, Silver, Iron ore, Copper, Cobalt, diamond, Bauxite, Lithium, and over 100 minerals from various African countries. And the worst part is that the indigenous communities who own those resources have nothing to show for it. Their resources are forcefully taken and when they protest, the foreign companies and governments use the local (African) politicians and army to kill and suppress their call for equity.
So how won’t Africa be poor when her resources are stolen as we speak? These things are not rocket science, and foreign press and governments shouldn’t make use feel we are stupid. This has nothing to do with population, and so Africans should be allowed to give birth and nurture a new and robust generation. What the foreigners should do is try their best to let go of African resources.
COLONIAL TASK BY EUROPEAN COUNTRIES:
As at the time this article was written, France still controls the central banks and 85% of the national reserves of 14 African countries since 1961. France also collects what it called “colonial tax” from the countries, and still holds them by the leash, thereby milking them of the resources that would better their economies.
These African countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon.
It is heartbreaking to know that these nations are compelled and forced to pay “colonial tax” to France. They are also obliged to deposit 50% of their foreign exchange reserves at the Bank of France. What is more worrisome and heartbreaking is that they can only use 15% of their foreign exchange yearly, or are forced to pay extra to use their own money.
Now what kind of twisted and sadistic relationship is that? How wont these African nations be poor?
These are the reasons why such African nations are poor, not population outbreak. You cannot maliciously control the entire finances of a country and expect them be economically buoyant. No!!!
As a matter of fact, Africa’s population is a threat to Europe, and they have always found ways to try to reduce the number of black Africans. Africa should be allowed to grow at its own rate, and Europe and America should stop dictating the policies that are meant to drive the African economies. Africans have a right to have a large population and also use her resources to better the lives of that population.