Top 15 poorest countries in Africa
Sometimes I keep wondering why most African countries are not developed and lack basic infrastructural capacities to help their citizens. Today I will be listing top 15 poorest countries in Africa they are:
15. Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa, and despite significant gold reserves, it is one of the poorest countries in both the region and the world. Over the nearly 60 years since gaining independence from France, the country has endured regular political upheaval and violence – conditions under which meaningful development is all but impossible. Currently, over three-quarters of citizens live on less than $3.20 a day.
Weathering bouts of political instability since gaining independence from France in 1960, the West African nation of Togo has stabilized in recent years. The country’s economy growth of 4.4% in 2017 was faster than the 3.2% global average growth, and Togo’s government has invested heavily in infrastructure that will help attract investment and encourage development. Still, the country remains among the poorest in the world today. About half of the urban population lives in slums, and nearly half of Togo’s total population lives on less than $1.90 a day.
The West African nation of Guinea-Bissau is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Weak public sector institutions have given way to drug trafficking and illegal logging. The legal part of the country’s economy is largely agricultural as over two-thirds of total employment is in farming. Cashews are the country’s main export, accounting for about 80% of total export value in 2017. Today, only about 15% of the population has access to electricity, and 26% are malnourished. Guinea-Bissau is one of only a handful of countries worldwide where average life expectancy at birth is under 60 years.
One of the youngest countries in the world, Eritrea won independence from neighboring Ethiopia in 1993. The country is highly militarized due in part to more than a decade-long war with Ethiopia that ended in 2018. In addition to war, the country’s severe drought has hampered economic development, as agriculture accounts for about 63% of employment. Eritrea drew up a democratic constitution in 1997 but never implemented it. Today, the single-party state ranks among the most corrupt in the world.
11. Solomon Islands
An island nation in the South Pacific, the Solomon Islands is one of only a few countries on this list not located in Africa. Civil unrest brought the country to the brink of collapse in the late 1990s and early 2000s. A multinational peacekeeping group led by Australia remained in the country from 2003 to 2017 and brokered a peace deal between rival islands within the nation. The county’s economy is largely agricultural, with farming accounting for 61% of employment. Like many other poor countries, less than half of the population of the Solomon Islands has access to electricity.
10. The Gambia
Compared to most countries on this list – and most countries in West Africa – The Gambia is relatively stable socially and politically. Still, it ranks among the poorest countries in the world with a GNI per capita of less than $1,500. The Gambia has limited natural resources and relies heavily on agriculture, with wood, brazil nuts, and cashews accounting for 80% of its exports in 2017. Less than half of The Gambia’s population has access to electricity, and over a third of the country’s urban population lives in slums.
9. Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone is a resource-rich country in West Africa. It endured a devastating civil war that was fueled by diamonds and valuable minerals trade. Though the war ended in 2002, it destroyed many of the country’s institutions, and the effects are still being felt. Today, Sierra Leone’s public sector is perceived to be more corrupt than most other countries. The problems associated with the lack of economic development are evident. About a quarter of the country’s population is undernourished, and Sierra Leone’s maternal mortality rate of 1,360 deaths per 100,000 live births is the worst in the world.
Madagascar is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean east of the African continent. The former French colony has been independent since 1960, grappling with political violence and coups in the last several decades. While the county has a substantial tourism industry, it is heavily dependent on agriculture, with farming accounting for more than two-thirds of total employment.
A former Portuguese colony, Mozambique, a country on the Indian Ocean in southern Africa, became an independent nation in 1975. Like many former colonial territories, Mozambique struggled in its early years of independence, enduring a civil war that lasted from 1976 to 1992. Though the country’s economy got a boost in 2011 with the discovery of natural gas, development is still lagging due in part to the over decade-and-a-half of civil war. A staggering 62.4% of the population lives on $1.90 or less a day, and nearly 82% live on $3.20 a day. The country is also dealing with a public health crisis, as 12.5% of the population between the ages of 15 and 49 are HIV positive.
Founded partly by freed U.S. slaves, Liberia’s economy was all but destroyed in the 1990s and early 2000s by a civil war that left a quarter of a million dead and thousands more displaced. Limited economic development in the country has lead to a low standard of living. Less than 20% of the population has access to electricity, and about 39% are undernourished. The government, which ranks among the most corrupt in the world, spends relatively little on education as a share of GDP, and illiteracy is widespread.
Malawi is an East African nation that shares a border with Mozambique, another country on this list. One of the poorest countries in the world, a staggering 70.3% of the population lives on less than $1.90 a day. Poorer countries are typically heavily dependent on agriculture and subsistence farming, and in Malawi, farming accounts for 71.9% of total employment. Like other countries in the region, Malawi is struggling to contain the spread of HIV. Currently, about one in every 10 residents between the ages of 15 and 49 are HIV positive, and, according to the BBC, more than a million children living in the country have been orphaned by the disease.
Niger is one of only four countries with a GNI per capita of less than $1,000. Since gaining independence from France in 1960, Niger has been marred by coups and political instability. As one of the least developed nations in the world, just 16% of the population has access to electricity. Over 80% of Niger’s population lives in rural areas, and of those who live in urban areas, the vast majority live in slums.
3. Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country rich in resources like valuable minerals, like copper, diamonds, and gold. Rather than being an economic boon, however, control over these resources has helped fuel a civil war that lead to as many as 6 million deaths. infrastructure is lacking in the country as only about 17% of the population has access to electricity, and there are no fixed telephone lines. This, in addition to rampant public sector corruption, makes conducting business in the country difficult.
With a GNI per capita of just $686, Burundi is the second poorest country in both Africa and the world. The country’s modern history has been stained by a brutal 12-year civil war sparked in 1994 by ethnic tensions between the Tutsi minority and the Hutu majority. Today, Burundi’s public sector ranks among the most corrupt in the world.Burundi is also one of the least developed countries in the world. Over 87% of the population lives in rural areas, and fewer than 10% of people in the country have access to electricity. Though nearly all pregnant women in the country receive prenatal medical care, the country’s maternal mortality rate of 712 deaths per 100,000 live births is among the highest in the world.
1. Central African Republic
The GNI per capita of $663 in Central African Republic is the lowest of any country in the world. Despite a wealth of resources like gold, diamonds, and oil, violence has hindered economic development since the country gained independence from France in 1960. After a string of coups in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, religious violence between the Muslim minority and Christian majority has plagued the nation since 2012. Slightly more than half of the CAR population lives in rural areas, but of those who live in cities, more than 90% live in slum.