Academic journal article European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

What Hinders Economic Development in Africa?

Academic journal article European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

What Hinders Economic Development in Africa?

Article excerpt


Many African countries are abundantly endowed with natural resources in the forms of mineral resources, oil resources (crude oil and gas), agrarian soil for agriculture, etc. Despite these huge endowments, many African countries remain underdeveloped with a few in the developing status. On a closer assessment, the evidence of poverty, suffering and absence of social security abound in Africa; also the palpable lack of infrastructure, poor educational systems, inadequate health centres and high level of unemployment exist in Africa. Even some of the African countries considered to possess higher economic development status do not have applicable level of economic development which impact on the lives of the citizens. South Africa used to be the foremost economy in Africa and was later overtaken by Nigeria in 2014 as the biggest economy, though Nigeria slipped into recession in 2016 and had begun to rebound from there. However, the two countries, much like many other African countries have visible evidence of negative socioeconomic impacts on the societies. Many Africans are still neck deep in poverty. The presence or enormous endowment of African countries have not helped to transform the poverty and suffering level of Africa's population. The paper therefore assesses some of the socioeconomic factors that have perpetually hindered the economic development of various countries in the African continent. The research methodology is that of case study with the entire African continent assessed as a single unit but with a broader assessment of the socioeconomic situation in the continent, especially the man-made impediments that must be overcome to ensure and advance development efforts in the African region. The research uses secondary data in assessment of the situation and draws useful conclusions.

The research presents the following objectives:

a. To assess the socioeconomic impediments to African development;

b. To assess the contribution of Africans to the underdevelopment of the continent;

c. To highlight the perennial negative effects of such socioeconomic impediments to African development.

The research is structured into literature review with the analysis of the various claims of causes of poverty in Africa, the socioeconomic impediments to economic development, the negative impacts and implications of the socioeconomic impediments to economic development. Conclusion was drawn at the end of the research on the issues assessed and analysed. One of the conclusions drawn is the fact that the socioeconomic impediments caused by no other than Africans are stagnating and decelerating the economic vibrancy and development of Africa. In addition, urgent change must be triggered and imbibed to facilitate and embed the possible path to guaranteed economic growth and development amid huge resources available to African continent.

2.Literature Review

The literature review examines the various claims of causes of poverty in Africa that explains the lack of economic growth and development in the African region as viewed and espoused within Africa and beyond. It would examine the veracity of the claims of the causes of poverty in Africa, providing analytical perspectives on the veracity of the claims and debunking them where necessary.

2.1: Phenomenon blamed for Economic underdevelopment in Africa

Slave trade, imperialism and colonialism: Slave trade, imperialism and colonialism appear to be the three phenomena often blamed for the underdevelopment of Africa. In the case of slave trade, many scholars in the twentieth century laid the cause of underdevelopment and backwardness of African countries to the activities of the transatlantic slave trade era which milked African countries of the cream of her youthful men and women who could have advanced the region's economies. The many years of slave trade was viewed as taking more of those young and adult Africans who were able bodied and strong enough to work in the farms of the slave masters. …

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