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Day 64 – Q 2. What are the reasons for poor economic development of African countries despite being rich in Natural resources?

2. What are the reasons for poor economic development of African countries despite being rich in Natural resources?


Although Africa has been endowed with vast reserves of natural resources such as 30% of world’s mineral resources, gold, diamonds, bauxite, uranium, iron-ore etc, yet it is by far the poorest continent on the planet with 28 of the world’s poorest countries being African. This is called the “curse of riches”.


Reasons for poor economic development

  • Historical Colonial Exploitation: European colonial powers such as Britain, France, Dutch etc. exploited the African resources with no focus on indigenous industrial development.
  • Political instability due to continuous civil wars in countries such as Sudan, Congo etc. and presence of active terror outfits such as Boko-Haram in Nigeria.
  • Tropical humid climate makes it prone to health epidemics such as Malaria, Ebola etc.
  • Lack of infrastructure for health, education, skilling and transport hinder the development of industries.
  • Rampant corruption in governance as highlighted by Transparency International.
  • Dysfunctional or Non-existence of Democratic Institutions make it difficult for designing of effective policies for development.
  • Neo-Colonialism: Colonialism has been replaced by Neo-Colonialism with different nations such as China, Israel eyeing for rich resources of Africa.
  • Need of huge investment for development.

Measures needed to ensure the development of Africa

  • International cooperation in terms of investment for skilling, health and education infrastructure, capacity building and transfer of technology for industrial setup.
  • Equitable sharing of benefits with indigenous people accruing from resource utilization which needs to be done in sustainable manner.
  • Projects such as Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, International Solar Alliance can benefit Africa to a great extent.
  • Representation of African nations in multilateral forums such as UNO, WTO needs to be increased so that their voices can be heard by the developed nations. Role of Forums such as African Union needs to be enhanced


In Africa’s growth lies the growth of world economy and therefore nations should cooperate in a sustainable and accountable manner to ensure its economic development. The approach should be more humanitarian in nature than just following cheque-book diplomacy.

Best answer: P29

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