Despite various obstacles, the African continent is seeing major progress in poverty-related areas. Africa is more than its struggle with distressing circumstances, and today its global importance is quickly growing. Here are the latest African poverty facts that you should know:
- Out of Africa’s 54 countries, 28 are among the poorest on earth, making Africa the poorest continent in the world. However, six of the world’s 10 most rapidly developing markets are also located on the continent.
- Roughly 70 percent of Africa’s population lives in rural poverty, but Time Magazine reports that African urbanization has risen to 37 percent with a third of the population considered middle-class by the African Development Bank.
- More than 40 percent of African women do not have access to basic education, and upward of 80 percent of African subsistence farmers are female, putting women at a significant disadvantage.
- Africa’s children still suffer considerably. 20 percent live with some type of disability, six million die from malnutrition before age five every year, and 3,000 succumb to malaria every day.
- In Sub-Saharan Africa, around 313 million people lack improved water sources and nearly 235 million go without clean sanitation facilities.
- Half of Sub-Saharan Africans live on less than $1 per day. Yet, the African Development Bank estimates that by 2060 nearly one billion Africans are expected to enter the middle class.
- One in every four people in Sub-Saharan Africa are food-insecure and 23 million African children go to school hungry.
- Without government intervention, the U.N. estimates the number of people living in urban slums in Sub-Saharan Africa will double to 400 million by the year 2020.
- Poverty rates are higher in countries that are repeatedly exposed to violence. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, major armed conflicts occurred in 18 African countries since 1990. However, this is juxtaposed with the 30+ violent conflicts that took place in the years before and during the Cold War.
These African poverty facts demonstrate the prevalence of both poverty and progress and prove that, although many improvements are still needed, the future of Africa is not bleak. Africa’s prospects are encouraging and overall, with continued support, success is ultimately attainable.
– Kristina Evans