In Africa, poverty is an issue that’s been long ignored by the developed countries. It’s yet to receive the attention and dedication it deserves in order to face this challenge squarely. The number of people living in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa grew from 217 million in 1987 to more than 300 million in 1998.
Africa includes some of the poorest countries in the world. In much of Africa south of the Sahara, harsh environmental conditions exacerbate the conditions of poverty. Africa has the highest proportion of its people in extreme poverty and is not on target to meet any of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed at the United Nations in 2000.
The world already produces enough food, but the key to eradicating hunger is to ensure that ordinary people in the developing world can get access to it and that it’s affordable. Poverty is the principal cause of hunger.
There has been a recent major shift in African effort to address the continents problems. The New Partnership for Africa’s development (NEPAD) and the AU aim to tackle HIV/AIDS, reduce poverty and sustain long-term economic growth. It’s committed to governance and promoting peace and security.
African nations typically fall toward the bottom of any list measuring economic activity, such as per capita income or per capita GDP, despite a wealth of natural resources. The bottom 25 spots of the United Nations (UN) quality of life index are regularly filled by African nations. In 2006, 34 of the 50 nations on the UN list of least developed countries are in Africa. In 1820, the average European worker earned about three times what the average African did. Now, the average European earns twenty times what the average African does.
To tackle poverty in Africa it will take a 100% effort by everyone. An effort which is yet to come by.
by Omar M. Omar