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Democratic Republic of the Congo is Africa’s second largest country, holding a staggering population of roughly 77 million people. A large population isn’t always a good thing however, as (especially with poorer nations) this just means there is less money to go around. What is even more intriguing about this case, however, is the fact that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is actually very rich in valuable natural resources.
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Both one of the African continent’s smallest and poorest nations. With an area of roughly 11,000 square kilometers, and a population of roughly 1.8 million people, The Gambia struggles immensely with trying to make economic leaps forward. Although there are multiple factors to consider, what is likely their biggest hindrance is the lack of diversity within their economic system. The Gambia relies primarily, and almost solely, on farming and fishing to drive their economy.
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Interestingly enough, Ethiopia has historically been a relatively wealthy nation. Although today, and throughout recent years, this really hasn’t been the case. To its credit, Ethiopia theoretically has the right practices in place. They’ve been undergoing a large political reform, one of the benefits of which is the supposed facilitation of economic growth and stability. In fact, since 2007, Ethiopia has places itself above many sub-Saharan African nations in terms of its economic performance. Although regardless of this, it remains one of the poorest nations in the world, only holding a GDP per capita of $505.00. This is a result of Ethiopia’s large population, and dependence on a poorly funded, underdeveloped, and vulnerable agricultural industry as a staple in their economy.
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Guinea hasn’t seen a period of economic stability since the 1990’s, when their mining and agricultural industries did them well. Since then however, Guinea has fallen victim to sever sociopolitical crises, which rapidly decayed the state of their economy. Much of their economy is still largely based on agriculture, which is difficult because farmers only have access to outdated information and obsolete technology, as investors tend to shy away from the nation entirely.
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Over the last 20 years, the standard of living within this island country has declined significantly. With a population of more than 20 million people, Madagascar has a GDP per capita of $463.00, with about 70 percent of the nation’s people living under the poverty line. Once again reliant primarily on agriculture, the vulnerability of the industry, lack of potent farming land, and the growing population only make their economic situation worse and worse over time.
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The Second Liberian Civil war was a conflict within Liberia that lasted from 1999 all the way through 2003. A quick look at history will show that wars generally don’t leave involved nations economically intact as a result. Liberia is no exception to this. Having just been subject to a 14 year-long political conflict that not only ravaged lands, but also needed to make use of some of Liberia’s already finite resources, the nation was left economically crumbled by the civil war. It is also of no benefit that Liberia is, once again, primarily reliant on agriculture to drive its economy.
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Holding a population of 16 million while also being one of the smallest African nation doesn’t set you up for accumulation or distribution of wealth. Arguable the most underdeveloped nation in the world, Malawi suffers greatly in essentially all categories available. Access to education, general standard of healthcare, infrastructure, and quality of living conditions are all limited or substandard. Because the nation is unable to develop in general, they’re for all intents and purposes stuck with trying to drive their economy using only the most primitive levels of agriculture. With common weather variations, as well as injuries and fatalities facilitated by poor health care, Malawi’s world lowest GDP per capita of $226.50 doesn’t seem like it will be rising too significantly any time soon.
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Having suffered from recurring violence and political disputes, it is no surprise that Burundi ranks as the second poorest nation in the world, even though the country is working tirelessly to rebuild itself. Aside from the estimated 300,000 civilian casualties resulting in a 67 percent poverty rate, the violent political rivalries were also detrimental to Burundi’s agricultural development. Even now, the nation ravaged by war holds very little farmable land, and any land that may be used for small-scale farming is still fragile due to the vulnerability to shifting climates and weather conditions.
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Central African Republic has in the past been victim to war and significant political instability. The landlocked central African nation also supports very, very poor infrastructure, thus limiting the efficiency of the distribution of the nation’s resources. Furthermore, this nation also shares similarities with most other African nations in that its economy is mostly directed by agriculture, although an estimated 45 percent of the Central African Republic’s export revenues are from diamonds. However, because of the poor infrastructure and governance that the nation has to deal with, only about 4 percent of the actual arable land that the nation holds is actually used. As a result, the majority of the working population that works within the industry suffer immensely.
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Niger stands as one of the world’s most underdeveloped nations across several categories. Although it continues to make developments in reducing infant mortality, and enhancing education, the development category of poverty has unfortunately remained rather stagnant, keeping the nation’s GDP per capita at $415.40.