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The Causes and Solutions to the Issue of Poverty in the African Countries

Industrial Revolution, in modern history, the process of change from an agrarian and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacturing, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. This process began in Britain in the 18th century and from there spread to other parts of the world. Although used earlier by French writers, the term Industrial Revolution was first popularized by the English economic historian Arnold Toynbee (1852-53) to describe Britain’s economic development from 1760 to 1840” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2023). Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist, critic of political economy, and socialist revolution. One of his prominent written works is the Communist Manifesto, which he was a co-writer of. An article titled BRIA 19 2 as Karl Marx: A Failed Vision of History published in the Constitutional Rights Foundation mentioned that “The history of society, Marx wrote, “is the history of class struggles.” Marx attempted to show that throughout history one economic class always oppressed another. “Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and gerf, guild master and journeyman.” But eventually, the downtrodden class rose up, overthrew its masters, and created an entirely new society. Marx wrote that the industrial capitalists and others using private property to make profits made up the oppressive class of his time. Marx called this class the bourgeoisie, which used its wealth and control over government to exploit the industrial working class. Marx named this class the proletariat. According to Marx, the value of a product is based on the labor used to manufacture it. Marx pointed out that workers’ wages fell far short of the price of the product they made. This was because the capitalists made a profit from what they sold. Marx called the profit “surplus value” and thought that it exploited the workers. Marx said that capitalists had alienated the worker from the results of his labor, forcing him to become “enslaved by the machine”” (Constitutional Rights Foundation, 2023).

A sign in Cape Town, South Africa urges people to wear masks in public. The pandemic has slowed sub-Saharan Africa’s growth and could undo years of economic and social progress. (photo: heinstirred by Getty Images)

According to the National Cancer Institute, Socioeconomic status is said to be “A way of describing people based on their education, income, and type of job” (National Cancer Institute, 2023). The website also stated that “Socioeconomic status is usually described as low, medium, and high” (National Cancer Institute, 2023). The individuals with the low and medium socioeconomic statuses are known as the proletariats when looking into the Industrial Revolution categories. These sets of people are teachers, lawyers, traders, and individuals with low jobs. People of the high socioeconomic status are the bourgeoisie. This is because these people are affluent, and they include oil moguls, ambassadors, Presidents, Governors, Senators, House of Representatives members, Chiefs (possibly) and Kings. According to New Nouveau Brunswick, Canada, “Poverty is about not having enough money to meet the basic needs, including food, shelter, and clothing. However, poverty is more, much more than just not having enough money. The World Bank Organization describes poverty in this way:

“Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, it is fear for the future, living one day at a time. ” (New Nouveau Brunswick, Canada, 2023).

This section of the article would discuss the effect and causes of poverty in African countries. Impoverishment in the continent of Africa is at a rising rate because the government officials of Africa countries who are supposed to make use of the revenues for the purpose of their civilians are being self-centered with them by embezzling them for themselves and their family members forgetting that they can’t and wouldn’t take these materialistic things to heaven. The majority of Africans lack nutrients in their bodies, are less educated, are unemployed, engage in fraudulent activities, live on the streets, and die prematurely due to the alarming penury rate. According to an article titled Poverty in Africa- The Indicators posted into SOS Children’s Villages mentioned that “According to the World Bank, the International Poverty Line refers to those who have less than 1.25 US dollars a day to live, and thus live on the very edge of existence. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) sets various indicators in its Human Development Index (HDI) to measure poverty in Africa and all countries in the World. This includes:

  • Life expectancy at birth
  • Average school attendance period
  • Expected school attendance period and
  • Per capita income

In the annual report on human development published by the United Nations (UN), the African countries of Malawi, Liberia, Burundi, Eritrea, Chad, Sierra Leone, and Niger are regularly in last place- this has not changed until 2014” (SOS Children’s Villages, 2023). The statistical facts on poverty in Africa by SOS Children’s Villages are

  • More than 30 percent of African children suffer from growth disorders such as stunting due to chronic malnutrition. This disease causes a physical and mental underdevelopment in children
  • Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest infant mortality. On average, one in 11 children dies before his fifth birthday. Three of the four countries with the highest infant mortality worldwide are on the African continent: Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Kenya. In addition to complications at birth and malnutrition, there are diseases such as pneumonia, diarrheal diseases, and malaria, which lead to the early deaths of many children.
  • In Sub-Sahara Africa, 59 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 work instead of playing and going to school. They fight poverty for their families. In Africa, every fifth child is cheated out of childhood and forced into child labor

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  • 25 million Africans are infected with the HIV virus, including approximately 2.9 million children. Many have lost one or even both parents and live as AIDS orphans on the street and
    Child labor is a common problem” (SOS Children’s Villages, 2023).

According to the SOS Children’s Villages, the causes of poverty in Africa are as follows:

  • Growth of Population

“Population growth on the African continent is rapid, despite numerous prevention and education campaigns. Developmental success and economic growth can not keep pace with this. The result is that more and more Africans live in poverty. According to a recent study by UNICEF, the population of Africa will double by 2050 to two billion people”.

  • War and Crises

“Of the world’s 20 war-related conflicts in 2013, 11 alone were fought on the African continent- all in Sub-Sahara Africa. This includes the wars in Sudan and South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic. In the crisis regions, agricultural production usually comes to a standstill. Many people flee, are forcibly expelled from their homes and are dependent on outside help. Poverty in Africa is increasing as a result of these wars”.

  • Climatic Conditions

“The African continent has been suffering more and more from climate change in recent decades: devastating floods and extraordinary drought periods lead to crop failures. The consequences are regular hunger crises and famine in Africa. Particularly affected in East Africa and the Sahel region”.

  • Illnesses

“Diseases such as AIDS, malaria or Ebola are the causes but also the result of poverty in Africa. Lack of education and inadequate medical care in many regions means that diseases spread faster and cannot be treated. The average life expectancy of the population is decreasing and the number of orphans is increasing. Loss of labor is particularly noticeable in agriculture and leads to reduced food production”.

  • Inadequate Agricultural Infrastructure

“Roads, wells, irrigation systems, storage facilities, agricultural machinery in many regions of Africa, agriculture lacks both infrastructure and expertise. That’s why local self-help is so important in helping to fight poverty in Africa”.

  • Unjust Trade Structures

“Rich countries create unjust trading structures by shielding their markets with high agricultural tariffs and heavily subsidizing their own agriculture. This shows on the development of agriculture on the African continent, causing it to suffer from the outset. The government of the U.S., the countries of Europe and other prosperous states thus contribute to poverty in Africa with their policies” (SOS Children’s Villages, 2023).

This area of the article would discuss the solutions that can be proffered for this discussion which is poverty using facts from the SOS Children’s Villages website, and the author’s opinions. According to SOS Children’s Villages, it is mentioned that “The SOS Children’s Villages in Africa work in 46 countries. Orphaned and abandoned children find new homes in the 147 children’s villages across the continent, and we run 720 SOS programs throughout Africa. With our long-term development projects and emergency humanitarian aid, SOS Children’s Villages has been fighting poverty in Africa since 1970 mostly with your donations” (SOS Children’s Villages). The author of this article would like to suggest ways of reducing poverty in Africa, if not eliminating it by

  • African rich individuals should be donating to the cause of poverty
  • There should be more philanthropists and humanitarians in Africa to help solicit for the impoverished and
  • There should be Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are for this cause

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