Situation in the Country


Surface: 30.221 million km ². 
Population: 1,020,201,229 inhabitants 
Ethnic groups: Bantu, Niloti.
Religion: 45% Muslim, 40% Christian, 15% traditional religions.
Infant mortality rate: 98 deaths in sub-Saharan Africa every thousand births.
Life expectancy: 52 Male, 55 Female (Italy 76 Male, 82 Female).
Literacy: 16%.
Population poverty line: 51.2% in sub-Saharan Africa

Poverty is a widespread condition in much of modern Africa. Most African countries rank among the last of all the major classifications of national wealth, such as those based on per capita income or per capita GDP, although there are often vast natural resources. The last 25 places in the ranking drawn up by the United Nations (UN) on quality of life have always been identified within the African nations. In the list of the 50 least developed nations of the world drawn by the UN in 2006, 34 positions were occupied by African countries.

In many African countries, GDP per capita is below the threshold of $ 200 per year; although this figure has been growing in recent decades, progress is much lower than those detected in other areas of the developing world, such as South America. The distance between the average of European and African per capita income has been growing over the last few centuries; if a European in 1820 earned on average three times more than an African, the ratio today is around 20:1.

Africa is one of the continents most plagued by armed conflicts, both civil wars (such as those in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and clashes between nations. The refugee phenomenon has spread across much of the continent; usually, the refugees shelter from one nation to the neighbouring ones, being not in condition to emigrate elsewhere (for example in Europe); This often causes more conflicts, such as episodes of intolerance occurred in 2008 in South Africa against Zimbabwean refugees. For the poorest African countries, already struggling to handle the problems of the local population, the asylum to refugees is often a problem from the point of view of economic, logistical, medical obstacles.

Conflicts often have the additional effect of paralyzing or damaging the economy of the countries in which they take place and often also of neighbouring countries that depend to some extent on international trade.

The most direct consequence of poverty in Africa is the generally low level of quality of life, for example, in terms of availability of consumer goods. More generally, African countries (subject to the usual exceptions for South Africa, the small nations like the Seychelles, some Maghreb countries and a few others) are in the last positions in the world with respect to parameters such as infant mortality, life expectancy, literacy and education, and so on. Also the ICT level in Africa is at its lowest in the world. Also due to factors such as the widespread political corruption and the consequences of colonialism in Africa is often observed a lack of correlation between the wealth of a country and the quality of life of its inhabitants, as well as a tremendous gap between the well-being of a very small elite and the poverty of the majority of the population. For example, Angola benefits from a strong inflow of money tied to the mining of diamonds, but it does not affect either directly or indirectly on the standard of living and quality of life of the bulk of the Angolan population.

The low levels of literacy, school and university education in Africa perpetuate the problem of lack of qualified professionals in key sectors such as information technology and teaching, perpetuating the situation of cultural dependency from Europe. The few Africans getting good results in studies are often forced to move abroad to attend the most prestigious universities or to find a job.

The weakness of the African economic system leads in many countries to a phenomenon of hyperinflation. The most paradigmatic case is that of Zimbabwe, but high rates of inflation are found in many other countries.

Unemployment is certainly widespread, although for most of the countries lack accurate estimates. The dimensions of the phenomenon can be still analysed considering that most large African cities is surrounded by vast areas of slums mainly inhabited by people who are unemployed or under-employed.




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