It doesn’t take one, or two, it takes all.
Sidarth Shekhawat and Liam Donlin

Greetings, today in this article we wish to talk to you about one of the most, if not the most pressing issue humanity is facing and has faced throughout history: Extreme Poverty. When most people think of Extreme Poverty and low quality of life, they think of scarce job opportunities, or having a minimum wage job, but in reality, minimum wage in the west is still at least tenfold the amount of money that someone who lives in extreme poverty outside of the west would live on.  According to Google analytics, the average money made per person in Burundi is 230 dollars per month,  the GDP of Burundi is 2.3 billion dollars, that means that Jeff Bezos, a single person, makes more in a month than 12 million people in a year, the GDP per capita of someone in the United States is around $70,000. This is just one example of the massive wealth gap in these impoverished countries. And it is not like the cost of living makes it ok, as most people they do not know if they will be able to put food on the table, and in many cases, people who have gotten cataracts, a cheap surgery that takes 5 minutes to solve, go blind for their entire life because they need to provide food for the family, this is just one case of how people here live. However, what people do not realize is that it is not because of jobs, there are enough jobs, the problem is intertwined with international and national issues, which is what we wish to address in this writing. 
The History, The Cause.
When colonialism ended, so did all of the stability, you see, during colonialism, foreign people from Europe, presumably people who had power in Europe, were in charge of managing colonies. This meant that when colonialism ended, not only did Europeans leave with all of their resources, but perhaps more importantly, all of the people in power. This meant that the countries had only inexperienced people, no one to tell them what to do, and no way of organizing a fair, democratic, non corrupt interim government. Another problem that Africa faced shortly after decolonization were the businesses. Many European businesses which pretty much ran the African Economy left after decolonization because they were not getting lucrative deals from colonialism and the exploit based economies of their time.  Due to this, much of the infrastructure that was built up as well as equipment stopped getting treated due to the abysmal economic state that African countries were in after Colonialism. This is why even though Africa is arguably the most resource rich continent on the planet, they cannot get rich off of the materials, because either foreign businesses rely on corruption to get resources and only pay the rich, not the country, or they simply cannot get resources because they do not have the infrastructure or equipment to mine the materials. This combined with the bad leadership meant most countries could not do this; I think that one outlier of this is Botswana, which had a non corrupt leader who got loans to mine, and now Botswana is one of the, if not the richest country in Africa in terms of GDP per capita. Another major side effect of the end of colonialism is that the newly formed countries went through major turmoil because the appointed officials that ruled during colonialism were now gone and there was no system to quickly get a president to lead a stable government so it was a race to the top, now let’s start to address problems facing modern Africa. 
Instability and Corruption
One problem facing modern Africa, which is actually two, is instability and corruption and even though it has been more than 50 years after colonialism ended, the countries of Africa have not been able to fix themselves. Even though Africa has had time, the cycle of corruption has not ended. What this means is that the ruling government of these countries are elected by bribing people, lying, and using threats, as well as simply cheating and extending and discontinuing elections. Additionally, the ruling class usually stays in power, and historically and to this day, even if someone is fairly elected, they are usually already rich, and will just do the same thing that the past leader did. This is true with almost all corrupt countries, even if the people appoint a new leader, chances are the new leader is also going to be corrupt in such a poor country, this is why there is an immense wealth gap in Africa between the rich and the poor. One example of a corrupt, rich leader is the former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. Robert Mugabe was 95 years old when he died during his presidency, already alarming, ending his 37 year dictatorship over a country whose potential to grow, absolutely shattered due to an inability to manage the government. This is because there was no one who was not corrupt or educated enough to run a government properly, probably the one and only exception of this is, as stated earlier, is Botswana, with a GDP per capita of almost 16,304.2 dollars per person, making it one of the, if not the richest country in Africa, and it was all because the government there implemented proper policies, was not corrupt, and utilized their natural resources for the country instead of selling to to businesses for the politician’s gain only. Most countries around Botswana are extremely poor, like Zimbabwe, or close as well, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, yet in those countries, they are pretty much all in extreme poverty living under 2 dollars a day, even though they had the same resources, mostly due to mismanagement of the resources. So, as we can see, corruption and instability leads to economic damage, and the ultimate key to ending poverty is with a strong economy.
Ethnic Division
Ethnic division is another major problem when it comes to Africa; a kindergartener with a pen could have done a better job at drawing borders than the Europeans.  When the Europeans drew the new borders of Africa they didn’t consider the fact that there were over 3,000 different ethnic groups in Africa, each with different customs and each making up different tribes, who’s authority still goes in rural parts of Africa. Even in countries like Nigeria that are relatively more developed than other African countries, in Nigeria alone there are 250 different ethnic groups, and this is where the problem comes, with the top four ethnic groups having a share of 30%, 15.5%,15.2%, and 6% of the population respectively in Nigeria alone. This is a major problem because many people in these ethnic groups view their nationality to the ethnic group, not to the country. This becomes a problem because ethnic groups will see an attempt to centralize as a threat to themselves, and many times they get very angry when they see other ethnic groups getting treated better than others, this is one of the main causes of war in Africa, and the Rwandan genocide, which killed 1 million or more people because bodies are still being found 30 years later, were caused because of ethnic division, this is because during colonial rule, the Tutsi were given more amenities and schools than the Hutu, and when colonialism ended, the Tutsi, which were a minority, began to be hated because their education meant that the minority was getting better jobs, this caused ethnic violence which spiraled out of control in the Rwandan genocide when people would litterally get machetes and mutilate their neighboors if they were Tutsi, one of the many examples of consequences of Ethnic division in Africa. Because of the horrendous border lines many tribes in Africa were split up and effectively dissolved, for example, the Tutsi tribe, as we stated earlier, now live in both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is one of many examples of tribes that were once great and now divided. As well as this, conflict is another scourge in Africa, going back to the Democratic Republic of The Congo, M23, a rebel group believed to be backed by the Rwandan and Ugandan government, has been fighting in the east, and has recently been accused of butchering villages. According to Vice, in a string of events that have been popping off recently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this conflict however, may be because of money, as the east of the country where the rebels are fighting, is rich in natural resources, and as wanda is entirely dry of resources, there is reason to believe they are supporting the Rebels to mine the resources and get them for cheap to sell for more.
Hope For The Future
The people of Africa are willing to work hard, and are working hard to create a life that is stable, brings income, and will support their country. African economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who is from Nigeria says that, “This is the Africa where people want to take charge of their own futures and their own destinies. And this is the Africa where people are looking for partnership”(Okonjo-Iweala), what she means is that the Africa that people think of is not necessarily the Africa that exists, yes there is extreme poverty in every country, yes there are many diseases that kill thousands per year, and yes the crime rate is extremely high, but there has been drastic improvements and as Gary Haugen said, “Moreover, the number of people in our world who are living in extreme poverty, which is defined as living off about a dollar and a quarter a day, that has fallen from 50 percent, to only 15 percent. This is massive progress, and this exceeds everybody’s expectations about what is possible.”(Haugen) As well as this, Africa is the richest continent in the world for resources, and the outlook is constantly looking better as the metals they have are more sought after. This is the small glimpse of light in the darkness of Africa and it can inspire more change. Also the problems that cause the darkness are many, but this is the first of many articles that address poverty in Africa and next time we will have a few possible solutions.

Works Cited
“The Congo: Militias and violence.”DW News, Youtube, Alphabet, 27 Apr. 2021, Accessed 6 Mar. 2023.Haugen, Gary. “The hidden reason for poverty the world needs to address now.” TED, 18 Mar. 2015, Accessed 6 Mar. 2023.(Last name not known), Michael. “Botswana: How to Make a Country Rich (From Scratch).” Youtube, Alphabet, 6 Mar. 2020, Accessed 1 Mar. 2023.Nations, United, editor. “Outreach Programme on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda and the United Nations.”, United Nations, 6 Mar. 2023, Accessed 6 Mar. 2023.Sasu, Doris Dakua. Distribution of Ethnic Groups in Nigeria in 2018. Statista, 12 Dec. 2022, Accessed 6 Mar. 2023.”Why is Africa Still So Poor?” YouTube, Alphabet, 28 Feb. 2021, Accessed 6 Mar. 2023.NEWS, VICE. “Stomping out Rebellion in DR Congo.” Youtube, Alphabet, Accessed March 15 2023.

Links:M23 (Age restricted on school computer, I did this at home so I cannot use noodle tools right now for it)

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