Poverty in Africa

GFA World is Working Against Poverty in Africa

Africa is a land rich with natural resources and culture. It should be bursting with opportunity, wealth and hope, but instead, poverty in Africa runs rampant, leaving the people in major need of help. The percentage of Africans living in poverty has decreased from 54 percent in 1990 to 41 percent in 2015, which seems like great progress, but given the continent’s high population growth, the total number of people in poverty has actually increased from 278 million to 415 million people in the same time period. Africa is the fastest-growing continent with an average fertility rate of 4.8 births per woman. Of the people in Africa in poverty, 82 percent of them are in rural areas and earn what little money they have through farming. Fragile and conflict-laden areas have higher poverty rates, and a lack of education, health and skills perpetuate the problem further. That, along with persistent inequality between men and women, make it more difficult to reduce the staggering poverty rate.[1]

When it comes to poverty in Africa, facts serve as a wakeup call and show the dire need for help on the continent. Seventy-five percent of the world’s poorest countries are in Africa, including Zimbabwe, Liberia, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic, which is ranked the poorest country in the world. One in three people in sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished, and the estimates of undernourishment rose from 777 million in 2015 to 821 million in 2017. In the same region, 589 million people live without electricity and rely on burning things like wood, charcoal or dung to cook their meals. About 738 million people globally lack access to clean water, and 37 percent of them live in sub-Saharan Africa, resulting in 500 million African people suffering from waterborne illnesses. According to one estimate, more than 50 percent of Africans have a water-related disease, like cholera.[2]

Clearly, poverty in Africa is a major problem, and GFA World is among the organizations working to help. GFA has more than 40 years of experience in helping the poorest of the poor in Asia, and now we are expanding ministry into Africa.

While meeting the physical needs of those living in poverty is crucial, GFA World also recognizes the importance of spiritual growth and is committed to fulfilling the command to “Go and make disciples” in Africa. This is evident in our outreach efforts in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, a densely populated African nation where GFA World has established a church that already boasts several hundred believers who worship together. In addition, GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program has been established in Kigali’s slums since March 2021, meeting precious children’s tangible needs and bringing hope to those who need it most.

GFA World plans to expand to six other African nations in the next few years, including Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan. GFA World founder K.P. Yohannan (Metropolitan Yohan) said,

“We are looking at the whole continent. As we just started working with these children in Rwanda, our goal is hopefully in the days to come we will be able to see thousands of worshipping communities transformed as we care for the poor and needy, in the name of our Lord.”[3]

Moving forward, GFA’s goal is to address some of Africa’s greatest needs, all done in the name of Christ. For example, GFA’s medical ministry works to end the millions of deaths from preventable illnesses such as water-borne ailments through healthcare training seminars and medical camps. They help at-risk children by distributing vitamins and supplements—like vitamin A, which helps with developing eyesight—and deworming tablets, which remove parasites from the body.

To help with the clean water crisis, GFA World is working on installing Jesus Wells. Two wells have already been drilled in Rwanda. Jesus Wells can provide clean water to an average of 300 people a day and can last for up to 20 years.

GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program helps by educating children, opening new opportunities for the future and helping to end the cycle of poverty for families and communities.

National missionaries are the main method GFA World uses to share Christ’s love and serve communities and individuals in need. GFA is establishing a Bible college in Rwanda to train indigenous missionaries who want to preach the Gospel to their own people. They know the local language, culture and traditions, making them particularly effective in ministering to these communities.[4]

While not all of the causes of poverty in Africa can be easily solved—environmental issues, political unrest and overpopulation among them—GFA’s work will make a major impact to help end the destructive cycles of poverty for millions of people living in the poorest continent.

Please pray for the growing ministry of GFA World in Africa, reaching the poorest of the poor. Consider joining the mission to end poverty in Africa by donating to GFA World. It doesn’t take much to sponsor a child—only $35 a month—or to sponsor a national missionary—just $30 a month. That is about a dollar a day to help change entire lives and communities.

Learn more about toilet poverty

[1] “Accelerating Poverty Reduction in Africa: In Five Charts.” The World Bank. https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/afr/publication/accelerating-poverty-reduction-in-africa-in-five-charts. October 9, 2019.
[2] Anele, Uzonna. “Top 10 Infuriating Facts about Poverty in Africa.” Talk Africana. https://talkafricana.com/top-10-infuriating-facts-about-poverty-in-africa. October 2, 2018.
[3] “GFA World Expands Ministry to Africa.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/africa. Accessed November 9, 2022.
[4] Ibid.