A debate on social questions and answers that spark some many answers from people around the globe [here are some of the responses from idealogist]

Why is Africa poor?

Answers

Anazuo Salihu from Nigeria,

  • Corruption: I have found corruption to be a recurring theme with most dirt poor African countries. The political elites are vile and dirty. We can’t blame colonialism for everything. My own great-great grandfather had black slaves that he sold to white men in exchange for liquor. Some African countries are richer than others. Why is this so? Do you know that a Nigerian senator earns more than the president of the United States of America?

Northern Nigeria

This is a region where people are still getting Polio. This area is also ravaged by Boko Haram. Children are not even going to school. Maternal and infant mortality in this region is disturbingly high. People who are responsible for distributing relief materials are selling them cheaply in the markets.

  • Some of our resources and artefacts were looted by the British but we have ignored the amount of history destroyed during tribal wars and sold by greedy chiefs.
  • Superstitions, limiting beliefs and general lack of intellectual curiosity. There are a couple of ridiculous stereotypes that are holding us back. One simple example I can recall is this:

You can’t live on your own if you’re unmarried because people will assume you’re promiscuous or doing something illegal. The effect of this is a large number of unemployed 30 year olds living with their parents, while developing an unhealthy attitude of risk aversion. By doing this, they can’t think independently, outside the box to create solutions that can help alleviate poverty.

General lack of intellectual curiosity: By this, i’m referring to a lack of open mindedness, zeal to learn and over reliance on old beliefs and conspiracy theories. People are simply not willing to be open minded and intellectually curious. Hence, you will find a lot of Ponzi Schemes thriving in African countries because of this lack of intellectual curiosity. This is a huge minus for an economy which should be finding innovative ways to build wealth.

Answer by James lacey( PhD economist (from avory Coast)

. Africa is poor because:

It was underdeveloped before colonization due to a combination of inefficient agriculture, poor transportation infrastructure, and lack of political stability.
Colonization led to exploitation.
Decolonization led to instability and inter-ethnic strife.
The regimes that were established after independence were exceedingly corrupt and badly mismanaged their economies.
Western influence has often had negative consequences, either by supporting rebellions or by imposing doctrinaire free-marketism.

Onan okoregye:an editor climax (from Uganda)

Dear Africans, we’re poor because our cousins in power have betrayed us. They own the tools for our development but they misuse to their own interests. They confine themselves in comfortable vehicles and forget about the ordinary woman who has to till her mall plot to raise food for her children. They increase taxes to be paid by the poor, and they are happy about it because they don’t feel the pinch, at the end of the day, a huge allowance is waiting for them. As if not enough, they exempt themselves from such taxes, and go on to make laws and policies that only favour them and their masters.

Therefore as long as we still have them in power, Africa shall dwell in poverty. However all hope is not lost.

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