Why Is Africa so Poor?


Quick Answer

According to Poverties.org, Africa is poor because of a variety of complex, intertwined causes including history, geography, distribution of natural resources, corruption, ethnic divisions, war and disease. Wealth created by the continent's vast natural resources is shared disproportionately among multinational corporations, the ruling elite and average citizens.

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Full Answer

Many African countries are landlocked and have few natural resources. While coastal countries have more advantages than landlocked countries, this has not produced a large difference in living standards. Natural resources are often extracted and moved out of Africa by multinational corporations that do not even pay taxes in the countries where they operate. Other natural resources are extracted solely to the benefit of the ruling elite, who have a poor record of distributing this wealth to impoverished citizens.

Crime and corruption are widespread in Africa, further exacerbating poverty. War is common in Africa and is often based on disagreements between different ethnic groups. Poor health care and disease have further limited the continent's capability for economic growth.

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