Extreme Poverty Continues To Plague Africa As Percentage Of People Living In Poverty Increases
Poverty remains burdensome on the African continent year in, year out, as many Africans continue to struggle to afford a single meal daily. While the economy of African countries continues to grow substantially, the gap between the rich and the poor gets wider every year specifically in rural areas across the continent.
Poverty remains burdensome on the African continent year in, year out, as many Africans continue to struggle to afford a single meal daily. While the economy of African countries continues to grow substantially, the gap between the rich and the poor gets wider every year specifically in rural areas across the continent. Data by World Bank reveals that as the poverty rate in rural populations stood at 50 percent, compared to 10 percent in urban areas.
According to an economic development report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), “it is estimated that as of 2021, 490 million people in Africa live under the poverty line of 1.90$/day”, and this is 37 million people more than what was initially projected. In other words, a third of Africa’s 1.4 billion inhabitants are below the poverty line and these numbers are likely to increase.
The following are the top ranked countries in Africa living in extreme poverty according to data from a Sustainable Development Report.
South Sudan Leads the Pack
South Sudan is in North Africa and has an estimated population of over 11.2 million citizens. The country’s Gross domestic product was worth 1 billion USD as of 2019, with experts projecting it to reach 3.28 billion USD by the end of 2023. It is also one of North Africa's largest producers of oil with a number of 154 thousand barrels per day. However, South Sudan was ranked as the country with the most population living in extreme poverty in Africa, with an index score of 84.43% making it the only country in North Africa on the list.
Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique, And Zambia Have the Most Share Of The Population Living In Poverty In East Africa
Out of the 19 countries in East Africa, four of them were ranked on this list. Burundi had the highest number of people living in extreme poverty in East Africa with an index score of 74.87%, and second overall position in Africa. Burundi runs an economy driven by Agriculture, with economic growth of 1.8% as of 2021.
Malawi recorded an index score of 69.73% ranking second amongst East African countries, and fourth overall in Africa. Malawi shares its borders with Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania, and has an estimated population of 18.6 million (2019), which is expected to double by 2038. Malawi's Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS), which is a series of five-year plans, guides the country’s development. The current MGDS will run through 2022, focusing on education, energy, agriculture, health, and tourism.
Mozambique came third in East Africa with an index score of 59.85 and an overall score of seventh in Africa, while Zambia came fourth in East Africa with an index score of 58.89 and an overall position of eight in Africa.
The Democratic Republic Of The Congo, Central African Republic, Angola, And Congo Republic Have The Most Share Of People Living In Poverty In Central Africa
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) ranks first amongst countries with the highest share of the population living in poverty in Central Africa with an index score of 71.74%, and an overall position of third in Africa.
The DRC has experienced decades of conflict and bad governance which are a few of the reasons that have added to its poverty crisis. Although, the DRC has an abundance of mineral resources, its citizens are yet to benefit from it. The Central African Republic ranked second among countries in Central Africa with an index score of 69.65%, and an overall rank of fifth amongst countries in Africa.
Angola, ranked third in Central Africa with 53.83%, an overall position of ninth in Africa. The Congo Republic ranked fourth in Central Africa with an index score of 49.78% and tenth overall.
African governments need to do more to alleviate poverty on the continent, otherwise poverty levels may continue to deteriorate.