Africans are intelligent people who have imaginations, dreams and work hard to make sure they achieve them. That is why Africans excel and progress in different chosen professions globally. Invariably, Africa as a continent can be argued to have most of the natural and human resource that places the continent side by side with every other developed continent around the globe, yet, it is lagging behind her contemporary. So many factors have been the reason for the current state, but focus will be placed on these three;
The problem of corruption continues to be the major scourge of Africa, especially where the primary source of wealth comes from export of high value mineral resources. Corruption leads to poor education, poor healthcare system, poverty, large economic gap between classes of people, economic instability, malnutrition, nonexistent security.
Most times, because of the selfish self-interest of her politicians, ethnicity and religion is used to divide the people. As the layman saying goes, “divided we fall, united we stand”, a polarized and divided populace finds it difficult to challenge these corrupt leaders as a united front. Since the citizens are disunited across religious and ethnic lines, their leaders find it easy to loot the nation’s treasuries, haphazardly secure loans which are also stolen thereby increasing the debt of an impoverished continent.
The corrupt industry players always try to prevent any bright young minds from rising up and challenging them. They prevent any competition and block bright minds that would have otherwise done much more for the development of the nation and its economy.
The definition of tribe from oxford dictionary is “a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious or blood ties with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.” Africa is still underdeveloped as a result of her tribal leanings and distrust of anyone not a member of a similar tribe. Tribal sentiments hence promote fear, anxiety and prejudice all which makes the citizens susceptible to propaganda and conflict. It brings about distrust among various ethnic groups in a nation. Due to distrust, the confidence, objective and legitimate issues of poverty and environmental pollution of an ethnic group is trivialized as non-issue.
Leaders often exploit tribal loyalty to advance personal gain, parochial interests, patronage and cronyism. As a result, they are inimical to democratic advancement. Tribal interest has played a major role in armed conflict and civil unrest across the continent.
- Education Gap and Illiteracy
One of the most powerful instrument that has been used in other continents and can be used in reducing any sort of inequality, poverty and lay a foundation for a sustained economy in Africa is education. Lack of education is one of the reasons Africa is still where it is. The continent has a huge number of out of school children which then creates a knowledge gap between Africa and other continents. The ever increasing illiteracy rates which is mostly caused by poverty, access to education as well as a prevailing negative perceived value of education, will continue to make Africa underdeveloped.
Although there are a lot of factors militating against the growth and advancement of the continent, these few factors keep playing major roles in the sustained underdevelopment of Africa. While there are no easy way out, there are readily available roadmaps that can transform the continent. There are always options that can help cushion biting effect of underdevelpment. Africans need to rise to the fore front and challenge the statusquo that has impoverished them for far too long.
Airiohuodion E. Thank God (AwakeNigeria)