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Youth Should Know The 5 Causes of Poverty in Africa Despite Its Natural Wealth

causes of poverty in Africa
causes of poverty in Africa


Causes of Poverty in Africa; Africa is home to some of the world’s most abundant natural resources, including oil, diamonds, and precious metals. Moreover, large part of the continent experiences sunshine almost throughout the year. The sun light is the source of all life in planet Earth. The continent is home of a large number of water bodies from Lake Victoria, Lake Nyasa, the Nile river, the Orange river, the Ruvuma river, the Ruaha river and much more.

Causes of poverty in Africa; Despite this, poverty in Africa has remained a persistent problem. Poverty affects millions of people in Africa, including children, women, and the elderly. While poverty in Africa is complex and multifaceted, this essay will examine the five most significant causes of poverty in Africa.

Poor Distribution of Resources

The first cause of poverty in Africa is overpopulation. While large population is seen by others as a source of poverty; it could also been seen as source of wealth when the human resource is well educated. Africa has the highest birth rate in the world, and the population is projected to double by 2050. Overpopulation puts a considerable strain on Africa’s already limited resources, including land, food, and water. As a result, many individuals and families are struggling to make ends meet, and poverty is widespread.


The second cause of poverty in Africa is corruption. Corruption is a pervasive problem in Africa, and it undermines economic growth and development. Corruption in Africa takes many forms, including bribery, embezzlement, and nepotism. When government officials and business leaders engage in corrupt practices, resources that should be used to address poverty are instead diverted to personal gain.

causes of poverty in Africa
causes of poverty in Africa

Inadequate Education

The third cause of poverty in Africa is inadequate education. Education is vital to economic development, but many African children lack access to quality education. Without an education, individuals are limited in their career opportunities and ability to earn a living wage. This lack of education perpetuates poverty and contributes to the cycle of poverty that affects many African communities.

Legacy of Colonialism

The fourth cause of poverty in Africa is the legacy of colonialism. Colonization in Africa lasted for centuries and left deep scars on the continent. Colonial powers exploited African resources and divided the continent into arbitrary borders that did not reflect the cultural or ethnic diversity of the people. The legacy of colonialism has contributed to political instability, economic stagnation, and poverty in Africa.

Climate Change

The fifth cause of poverty in Africa is the impact of climate change. Africa is especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including droughts, floods, and other natural disasters. These environmental challenges have a significant impact on agriculture, which is the primary source of income for many African communities. The effects of climate change exacerbate poverty and limit economic growth in Africa.

Conclusion on Causes of Poverty in Africa

In conclusion, poverty in Africa is a complex and multifaceted problem. While there are many factors that contribute to poverty in Africa, including civil conflict and disease, this essay has focused on the five most significant causes of poverty in Africa: overpopulation, corruption, inadequate education, the legacy of colonialism, and the impact of climate change. Addressing these causes will require a multifaceted approach that involves government action, international aid, and grassroots initiatives. It is time for the youth to know these causes and take action to address poverty in Africa.


Mkandawire, T. (2015). Neopatrimonialism and the political economy of economic performance in Africa: Critical reflections. World Politics, 67(3), 563-612.

Sachs, J. D. (2015). The age of sustainable development. Columbia University Press.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). (2019). Human development report 2019: Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: Inequalities in human development in the 21st century. United Nations Development Programme.

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