In February 2017, Global Finance Magazine published the ranking of the world’s poorest countries according to data collected by the International Monetary Fund. African countries populated the list. While Africa has much to offer, the sad truth remains that many countries do not produce enough to feed its people.
GDP per capita: $1,504 (£1,226)
The Republic of Madagascar has a long history of political instability with protests and military coups that have destroyed infrastructure and stalled the growth of the country’s economy. Today, this history makes it the 10th poorest country in Africa.
The main contributors to the GDP are its agriculture sector which makes up 29% of the GDP and the manufacturing industry that makes up 15% of the GDP. Sixty-nine percent of the country’s population live below the national poverty line. Children in Madagascar suffer from malnutrition and there is little to no access to basic health care.
GDP per capita: $1,321 (£1,077)
In 2011, the World Bank identified Eritrea’s economy as one of the fastest growing economy in the world. Even though the economy continues to grow, there is still widespread poverty in Eritrea. The agriculture sector employs approximately 80% of the population.
However, periods of drought and wars have impacted production thus making Eritrea the 9th poorest country in Africa. Over 50% of its population live below the poverty line. The government is working to improve health care but the poor are still susceptible to Malaria and Tuberculosis.
GDP per capita: $1,271 (£1,036)
Being one of the largest producers of bauxite and rich in diamond and gold deposits, one would think that Guinea do not belong on this list. However, widespread corruption and failure to develop infrastructure make Guinea one of the poorest African nations.
An Ebola outbreak in 2014 put strain on the already limited health care system. Children are malnourished and maternal and child mortality rates are high. There is also a high incidence of HIV/AIDS among the population and a large percentage of the population have no access to education.
GDP per capita: $1,228 (£1,001)
In 2007, the IMF and World Bank praised Mozambique for the rapid increase in its GDP. The economy continues to grow but the harsh truth remains that Mozambique is one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in Africa and the world.
The civil war that lasted 1977 to 1992 hindered the development of the country. The agriculture sector provided jobs for the displaced and the unskilled but with only 7% of the country’s land arable, production is extremely low. Malnutrition among Mozambican children continues to rise and limited access to health care makes the country’s life expectancy among the lowest in the world.
GDP per capita: $1,139 (£929)
Malawi, ‘Warm Heart of Africa’, is not so warm for the 54% of its population that live below the poverty line on less than $1 a day. In 2009, a 23% decline in investments impacted Malawi’s ability to finance its imports. The economy received another setback in 2015 when floods destroyed crops, infrastructure, took lives and displaced thousands of people.
Employing 80% of the population, the agriculture sector is the largest employer and it contributes 35% of the GDP. The impoverished population is unable to access proper education and healthcare. HIV/AIDS is prevalent in the country and takes a significant chunk out of the government’s expenditure. With a low GDP per capita and an even lower ranking on the HDI, Malawi is one of the poorest and least-developed African nations.