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Africa...why is it the poorest continent?

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  Quote phoenix_bladen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Africa...why is it the poorest continent?
    Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 23:08

africa..... it's the poorest continent in the world...why is that?  What keeps africa from prospering as much as other continents are?  And why can't africa became rich and prosper like in most western and east asian nations?

what's keeping them back ?  I myself would like to see africa prosper but that is probably unlikely in my life time.

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  Quote Imperator Invictus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 23:21
Afterica, in the old days, was very rich in its northern and western parts, namely Egypt and neighboors, and Ghana, Mali, Songhai. They were all part of the trade routes, which made them very rich. Alexandria was the second largest city in the Roman Empire. The rest of africa was not part of this network and geography was not favorable to large states, other than a strip of land on the east coast. Therefore, no large political organizations developed.

When Imperial powers came into Africa during the colonization period, it was carved up into many territories. The fact that the Europeans did not consider maintainig former tribal boundaries made organization even harder. This is opposed to Asia, where the states there were strong enough to maintain under foreign presure, and South America, where colonization was not as diverse among European powers, and so a single chain of revolutions was able to shake off the rule.


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  Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2004 at 00:24
Also the fact that Africa is substantially poorer in natural resources than any other continent.
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  Quote maersk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2004 at 04:28
too much ethnic strife, too little education.
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  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2004 at 04:51
Many people seems to blaim the Europeans for the poverty of Africa, but that's quite undeserving. Is India a poor nation today? Is Thailand, or South Africa? It's not that Africa was very developed and rich before the Europeans arrived, tribal wars and genocide was commonplace. Take a look at this, this Ugandan-by-birth has more knowledge on the situation than anyone of us on this forum: Matogo&Africa
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  Quote JanusRook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2004 at 05:30
Africa is poor because throughout it's history it's been isolated. India isn't poor because for the past 4 milenia it lay between a huge trade route. I mean look at some nations that would appear to be like africa. Indonesia, which shares a similar inhospitable (to my tastes) landscape, isn't as poor because it lay in a trade route, whereas papua new guinea is very poor because it's isolated.
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  Quote Kapikulu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2004 at 05:41
I think it is really the resources.Africa, which is covered with deserts and doesnt have much but forests except the northern part,couldnt get improved...Only rich countries like Ghana,Mali,Songhai,Aksum and others gained it by trade...And after the European powers came and civil wars emerged,they lost it all
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2004 at 06:29

The only money that comes into Africa has to be spent on food and aid for it's people.  Therefore there's none left over to build up industry.  Ethnic cleansing has also deteriorated Africa's chances of improving.

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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2004 at 10:06
Also the fact that Africa is substantially poorer in natural resources than any other continent.


I think Africa works out average in natural resources, its probably second on account of being the second largest continent, but it doesn't lack resources on continental level. But those resources are not very evenly spread out on the continent.

However, this is too simplistic, Japan isn't very wealthy in natural resources, but its one of the richest countries in the world on a per capita basis, so its all down to how the economy is aranged.

I think the fact that a greater percentage of  Africa is emplyed in farming (and many of them are subsistence farmers) plays a huge role too, in a materialist economic asessment (which is how wealth is measured), farmers jsut arn't very productive.
Plus most African countries depend mostly on cash crop exports for wealth generation, which, due to bad planning and unfair loans policies imposed by the IMG etc. is mostly spend on paying off the intrest. Those countries that are exporting minerals are doing just that, exporting raw mineralts, which are bulk goods that are not that valuable per ton, relativly speaking, even diamonds, for cut diamonds glued to rings are much much more valuable wieght for wieght, and those rings for sure won't be made and sold in Africa.
Throw in chronic instability and you have an enviroment that favours the rise of corrupt and/or violent dictators, and that just adds to it all even more.

I think going on about how certain countries were rich 500 years ago is cool and all, but by todays standards those countries wouldn't be very wealthy, whereever they are. Countries need to diversify their economies, develop their home markets to cerate a strong domestic consumer base, and get into exporting valuable goods and ensuring that they recieve as much as the profits from the sale of those goods as possible.
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  Quote maersk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Oct-2004 at 13:16
countries like angola, namibia and ethiopia could be rich with all the oil thats being found in their respective countries
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  Quote Evildoer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Oct-2004 at 19:42

Originally posted by Styrbiorn

Many people seems to blaim the Europeans for the poverty of Africa, but that's quite undeserving. Is India a poor nation today? Is Thailand, or South Africa? It's not that Africa was very developed and rich before the Europeans arrived, tribal wars and genocide was commonplace. Take a look at this, this Ugandan-by-birth has more knowledge on the situation than anyone of us on this forum: Matogo&Africa

But some genocides were triggered by Europeans. In Rwanda and another neighbouring country (forgot the name), the Hutus and Tutsis lived in peace and cooperation before colonization. The French and Brits played the two tribes against each other during their rule, which resulted the recent genocide.

Europeans cannot be blamed for everything, but they can for a lot of things.

South Africa is very poor you know. Plus it has the greatest number of AIDs pacients in the world.

Thailand is quite poor. AIDs is smashing this country as well. Plus there is a huge prostitution industry that should not exist in any tolerably well-to-do nation.

India is indeed a poor nation. It would be ridiculous to deny it... It is maybe democratic in name, but corruption is rampant.

 

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  Quote phoenix_bladen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Oct-2004 at 01:25

ic thanks for the info guys.

 

Would Africa be better uniting as one ?  That is to say all the blacks united into one country instead of having different countries...

but since there are hundreds and hundreds of different ethic blacks in africa would that be hard?

If you had to think of a way to save africa and make it as prosperious as north america would how would you do it ?

 

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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Oct-2004 at 02:17
but since there are hundreds and hundreds of different ethic blacks in africa would that be hard?


Seeing as many countries there already have a hard time acting as if they were genuinly united, i'd have to say its pretty damn premature to assume the whole continent would, so yes, it would be hard.
However, in the short term, an enonomic union of sorts would be a nifty idea.
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  Quote Kubrat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Oct-2004 at 17:25

It sure would.  Economic unions are very good for large areas.  When the British Empire fell apart due to WWII and prodding from America, the Commonwealth was formed so that trade could continue.  But when the Soviet Union fell apart, no such thing was formed, and look at how poor Russia and former Soviet Union countries continue to be today.

For Africa to unite, it would have to go Europe's route.  First an economic partnership, then a political.

I actually heard that South Africa was a very modern nation untill recently..

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  Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Oct-2004 at 11:40

The best quote I ever heard is to understand African history geography is more important then events.

Th real reason Africa is poor=rivers are hard to navigate, the sahara desert is in the way, alot of disease is there, the tseste fly, coasts with very few harbors or natural inlets...nautre wasnt kind to Africa.

And yet despite all of this there were still rich west african kingdoms, but with the discovery of America there was aless a market for their trade.

But I cannot over-emphasize the effect that the disease originating the Kongo area has, nor the lack of natural harbors.

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  Quote Shifty Russian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2004 at 22:21

To grow- countries that are not in too bad of a state - need foreign investment, which takes advantage of cheaper wages and what not... and this way the continent can slowly claw back.

Although as mentioned before... tribal warfare and segragation doesnt help

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  Quote Herodotus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Nov-2004 at 21:48

African Civilization has been backward and underdeveloped through out modern history, originally because of a lack of locally domesticated plants and animals, and then, due to the north south orientation of the continent, a very slow difussion of crops domesticated elsewhere (if the climate allowed such diffusion at all).

Food surplus is the key to any complex civilazation, lacking that, afirca never had a chance to compete with Eurasia. Tribal societies cannot be "rich", in the sense we are discussing.

Eventually, if africa is able to overcome its civil strife, its civilization may "catch up", maybe not.

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  Quote Herodotus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Nov-2004 at 21:50

For a full explanation of all the ecological facotrs that led to the inequities of african and eurasian civ., i reccomend "Guns, GErms, and Steel" By Jared Diamond.

Brilliant book; Diamond explains how enviornment determined a civilizations general status more than anything else.

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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Nov-2004 at 09:09
Parts of Africa were able to atain food surpluses and develop, so ints not quite accurate to label the entire continent as such.
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  Quote JanusRook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Nov-2004 at 10:23
Wasn't Zimbabwe the breadbasket of Africa before Mugabe screwed up the whole nation?
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