Why Is Africa in Poverty?

There are many factors that keep the continent of Africa in poverty, including its rapid population growth, lack of education, disease and conflict. Africa is the fastest growing continent with a population growth rate of 2.7 percent per year, and the fertility rate has declined much more slowly than elsewhere in the world. This makes the demographic transition very slowly as well.[1] In fact, about half the population of Africa is under the age of 15.[2]

Also, fewer than 20 percent of African women have access to education, and uneducated women are twice as likely to contract AIDS and 50 percent less likely to immunize their children.[3] In the sub-Saharan region, more than 32 million children, mostly girls, are not in school.[4] More than a million people die every year from malaria, many of them children under the age of five. Malaria deaths in Africa make up 90 percent of all malaria deaths worldwide. Conflict also perpetuates poverty in Africa; the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that more than 18 million people are of concern to the agency. In recent years, that number has rapidly grown due to the crises in the Central African Republic, Nigeria and South Sudan.[5]

GFA World works against many of these poverty inciters. GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program, for example, works to educate children in academics, morals and even hygiene practices. These things help lift children out of their impoverished circumstances and lift their families and communities with them. GFA World established a child sponsorship program in Kigali, Rwanda in March 2021, and hundreds of children are already enrolled. There are plans to expand the ministry into six more African nations, including the conflict-torn South Sudan as well as Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.[6]

On top of that, GFA World raises awareness about the major killer of malaria. GFA missionaries distribute mosquito nets, which is one of the most effective ways to prevent the disease but unaffordable for impoverished families struggling to survive. These missionaries also conduct health awareness programs teaching people how to protect themselves from the disease and medical camps to help treat the illness, greatly increasing survival chances.[7]

The causes of poverty are complex, but GFA World is working to combat some of them and help families break its cycle. Consider joining this effort by donating to GFA World. It is amazing the difference a little bit of education, compassion or a mosquito net can make in someone’s life.

Learn more about poverty in Africa

[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] “Proportion of selected age groups of world population and in regions in 2022.” Statista. https://www.statista.com/statistics/265759/world-population-by-age-and-region/. September 2022.
[3] 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.
[4] “New Methodology Shows that 258 Million Children, Adolescents and Youth Are Out of School.” UNESCO. http://uis.unesco.org/sites/default/files/documents/new-methodology-shows-258-million-children-adolescents-and-youth-are-out-school.pdf. September 2019.
[5] 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.
[6] “GFA World Expands Ministry to Africa.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/africa. Accessed November 9, 2022.
[7] “Help Stop the Misery of Malaria: Show God’s Love Through Mosquito Nets.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/mosquitonets/donate. Accessed November 9, 2022.