Kwabena Adu Koranteng writes: US-Africa Leadership Summit must bring wealth, prosperity to Africa
Once again, Africa has re-established its leadership relations with the United States of America aimed at strengthening and promoting diplomatic relations between the two continents.
The Summit was initiated to deepen the United States enduring commitment to Africa, and increase cooperation on shared global priorities.”
We expect some of these leadership activities to help promote economic prosperity, climate action and democracy on the continent as stated by the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Sub-Saharan Africa plays a critical role in advancing global priorities to the benefit of Africans and Americans. It has one of the world's fastest-growing populations, the largest free trade areas, the most diverse ecosystems, and one of the largest regional voting groups in the United Nations (UN).
Africa for years has been going through many economic Challenges that have resulted in migration, poverty, diseases teenage, pregnancy, famine, hunger, and preventable deaths. Besides that, Climate change has worsened the situation creating uncertainty among the inhabitants.
Poverty in Africa is the lack of provisions to satisfy the basic human needs of people on the continent. African nations typically fall toward the bottom of any list measuring small-size economic activity, such as income per capita or GDP per capita, despite a wealth of natural resources.
According to the World Bank, the International Poverty Line refers to those who have less than 1.25 US dollars a day to live, and thus live on the very edge of existence.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) sets various indicators in its Human Development Index (HDI) to measure poverty in Africa and all other countries in the world. This includes:
• life expectancy at birth, average school attendance period, expected school attendance period as well as per capita income.
As the indicators show, education is closely linked to poverty by the United Nations - because those who cannot read and write have little chance of getting a skilled job and building their livelihood.
In the annual report on human development published by the United Nations (UN), the African countries of Malawi, Liberia, Burundi, Eritrea, Chad, Sierra Leone and Niger are regularly in last place - this has not changed until 2014.
Extreme poverty leads to hunger in Africa. More than a quarter of the hungry in the world live on the African continent. One-fifth of people living in Africa are considered malnourished.
This gives the continent the highest rate of malnourished people worldwide.
More than 30 per cent of African children suffer from growth disorders such as stunting due to their chronic malnutrition. This disease causes physical and mental underdevelopment in children.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest infant mortality. On average, one in 11 children dies before his fifth birthday.
Three of the four countries with the highest infant mortality worldwide are on the African continent: Ethiopia, Nigeria and Kenya.
In addition to complications at birth and malnutrition, there are diseases such as pneumonia, diarrheal diseases and malaria, which lead to the early death of many children.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 59 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 work instead of playing and going to school.
They fight poverty for their families. In Africa, every fifth child is cheated out of childhood and forced into child labour.
Extreme poverty in Africa has many reasons, some of which are closely linked.
Key causes of poverty in Africa and the suffering of millions of people include war and crises.
Of the world's 20 war-related conflicts in 2013, 11 alone were fought on the African continent - all in sub-Saharan Africa.
This includes the wars in Sudan and South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. In the crisis regions, agricultural production usually comes to a standstill.
Many people flee, are forcibly expelled from their homes and are dependent on outside help.
Poverty in Africa is increasing as a result of these wars.
The African continent has been suffering more and more from climate change in recent decades: devastating floods and extraordinary drought periods lead to crop failures. The consequences are regular hunger crises and famine in Africa.
Particularly affected are East Africa and the Sahel region.
Roads, wells, irrigation systems, storage facilities, agricultural machinery - in many regions of Africa, agriculture lacks both infrastructure and expertise.
That's why local self-help is so important in helping to fight poverty in Africa.
Besides, rich countries create unjust trading structures by shielding their markets with high agricultural tariffs and heavily subsidizing their own agriculture.
This slows down the development of agriculture on the African continent, causing it to suffer from the outset. The governments of the U.S., the countries of Europe and other prosperous states thus contribute to poverty in Africa with their policies.
Source: Kwabena Adu Koranteng
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