The current population of Africa is 1,343,458,951 as of Thursday, August 6, 2020, based on the latest United Nations estimates. The African population is equivalent to 16.72% of the total world population. Africa ranks number 2 among regions of the world (roughly equivalent to “continents”), ordered by population.
The continent is only second to Asia in the World Population Index as according to the United Nations Data. Furthermore, the report says that of the total population in Africa, 43.8 % of the population is living in urban areas (587,737,793 people in 2019) while the remain 56.2 % (752,860,354 people in 2019) is still held in the rural set up of the continent. The population of Africa is relatively young and that makes the median age in Africa is 19.7 years. That statement is enough to qualify the assertion that much of the population in Africa is youthful.
Land is one of the greatest resources on the disposal of Africa. Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.37 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth‘s total surface area and 20% of its land area.
With both the population and the world’s greatest resource which is land favouring the African continent. It is quite puzzling that Africa is still talking about the high poverty levels on the continent.
Poverty is the absence of production. Often times, people who are said to be living in poverty tend to apportion the blame on others for their predicament. However, this just goes to show the crisis of creativity in poor people
Africa has usually been associated with poverty, wars, diseases, and underdevelopment. It is quite astonishing and puzzling that a continent embodied with many natural resources stills prides itself as one of the least developed continents.
Does Africa not produce enough? Does Africa lack a lot of creativity? These questions demand answers.
For a long time now, Africa has economically depended on the major economic powers for financial ballots from time to time. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other financial organizations have designed programs aimed at reducing poverty in many African countries. These programs aimed at reducing poverty are always a brainchild of the major economic powers. These programs perhaps always have a cosmetic touch to them as they rarely tackle the challenge.
Africa perhaps needs to take a leaf of countries such as China and Singapore, which were struggling economies a few donkey years ago. However, as it stands, they are the centers of the world’s major productions. Major companies are shifting their production departments to these countries because they offer a viable business environment.
A famous adage says, “do not give a man fish but rather teach them how to fish” is what Africa really needs at the moment. Programs of offering monetary support to Africans do not solve the problem but rather exacerbates the problem. What Africa needs is to develop production industries that would help increase the production levels and bring to a stop the blame and dependence syndrome.
The production industries will help improve the exports of many African countries. Exporting finished products is going to be far better than exporting raw materials. The value of finished products is greater than the raw materials. The raw materials are going to be processed into finished commodities that are exported back to Africa. Acquiring these finished articles results in a trade deficit for many African countries that export only raw materials.
Another point worth noting about reducing poverty in many African countries is improving fiscal discipline. Fiscal discipline has for many “donkey” years remained the number one hindrance to ending poverty in Africa. Lack of proper fiscal discipline has often bled corruption. Lack of prudent management of resources results in discontentment and cynicism in citizens. Lack of fiscal discipline results in pursuing programs that are not adding any value to the real needs of the people.
Proper fiscal discipline helps to put in place the availability of all necessities, which in turn helps to foster development and equal distribution of resources for the benefit of all.
Africa really needs to step up the levels of production and produce more because only then will Africa shed off the tag of poverty.