Politics & Economy

Big concepts regarding the challenges African nations are facing:

  1. There is currently enormous diversity in economic development, forms of political rule, and the make-up of the nation-states of Africa.
  2. Compared to the colonial period, social welfare has improved greatly almost across the continent: especially in education and health care.
  3. Within the last ten years, GDPs of African nations has grown quickly overall, but most of the higher income and wealth has benefitted either foreign companies or to national elites/oligarchs.
  4. National development is slowed by a number of factors including poor farming conditions (soil, disease, rain, etc.), low commodity prices for goods produced in Africa (e.g. copper, coffee), corruption, and in a few cases civil war.
  5. After fifty years of independence, states are still forming themselves into nations, where people see themselves as a single people. Differences of class, religion and ethnicity often, but not always, slow development.
  6. Democracy is deepening its roots in many countries, fueled by people’s desire for a government responsive to their needs.