Africa is the second largest continent in the world. It consists of 53 countries.

The north of the continent ( Maghreb ) is inhabited by Arabs, south of the Sahara lives black population. Madagascar inhabit Malgas, descendants of newcomers from Indonesia. Africans, descendants of colonizers from Europe live in the south of the continent.

It is inhabited by dozens of peoples and hundreds of tribes. more than 2,000 languages and dialects. The official language is English, French, Portuguese. In South Africa there are as many as 11 official languages : afrikans, English, scythe, ndebele, pedi, soto, suazi, tsonga, tswana, venda and zulu.

Africa is not only a lot of languages, but also many religions. The South is about 40% Christian, Islam is mainly professed in the north and east (about 45% ). In addition to Christianity and Islam, traditional African beliefs are professed.


To describe the standard of living of the inhabitants of each country, the HDI social development index (HDI) is used. Human Development Index). Hdi was created to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the final criteria for assessing the development of the country, not just economic growth. Hdi can also be used to challenge national political choices, asking how two countries with the same level of GNI per capita can have different results of human development. These contrasts can stimulate debate on the government's political priorities.
The Social Development Index (HDI) is a measure of the summation of average achievements in the key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being competent and a decent standard of living. HDI is the geometric mean of standardized indices for each of the three dimensions.

The health dimension is assessed on the basis of life expectancy at birth, the education dimension is measured by the average of the study years for adults aged 25 years and over and the expected years of study for school children. Living standards are measured by gross national income per capita. HDI uses revenue logarithm to reflect declining revenue importance as GNI increases. The results for the three HDI dimension indexes are then aggregated into a composite index using a geometric mean. HDI simplifies and captures only part of what human development entails. It does not reflect inequality, poverty, human security, empowerment, etc. HDRO offers other complex indices as a broader indicator on some key issues of human development, inequality, gender inequality and poverty.

Poverty affects both poor and rich countries. In countries south of the Sahara, sub-Saharan Africa, it is found on a much larger scale. 30 out of 53 African countries are among the poorest in the world. 40% of the continent's population lives below the poverty line, meaning they have to live on $1 or less a day. The majority of people in Sudan, Ethiopia and Niger live in conditions that make their daily activities focused on providing basic needs. Extreme manifestations of poverty are hunger and thirst and lack of shelter, that is, a safe place to live. Poverty also affects people when people do not have access to basic medical care, when there is a shortage of schools and teachers, and when the road to the nearest well takes two hours.

One of the causes of poverty in Africa is the colonial past. The division of the continent by European countries Portugal, Great Britain, France, Belgium and Germany, which took place in the 19th century, has often resulted in tribes with different beliefs, cultures and customs within the artificially designated borders of the colony. The modern borders of African countries are a remnant of the colonial era, which continues to be a source of civil unrest, ethnic conflicts, often leading to wars, which hampers their development.

Poverty is also due to environmental conditions: climate, soil quality, water resources, natural resources. This can be seen in the example of countries with unfavourable environmental conditions, such as Sudan, Chad and Mali, where poverty levels are very high. In the case of Africa, the population is also a major influence– its significant growth in recent decades has meant that governments, due to limited resources, are often unable to provide adequate care to their citizens.

From 50 to 2004. The African continent had a population of just over 250 million in the 20th century. In the second half of the 20th century, there was a demographic explosion that contributed to the rapid growth of the continent's population: there are currently 1 375 782 803 living in Africa (as of 1.12.2020). Since 1960, there has been an increase in the average age from 23.1 years to 23.9 present. Urban population has increased from 280,986,404 in 2000 to 575,532,000 in the current year. According to statistics, africa's population will grow to 2,517,307,000 people by 2050. The reason for such a significant increase in natural health is the progress of medicine and the improvement of sanitation, which has reduced the high mortality rate of the inhabitants of the continent.

Poverty also has economic and political causes. Despite the rich natural resources (gold, silver, platinum, uranium and diamonds, coal, oil, natural gas) whose extraction could contribute to increasing prosperity and improving the living conditions of the population, the economic condition of the continent is very poor. The reason is that the deposits are mainly operated by Western corporations and only a small part of the profits go to the countries where mining takes place. The african industry is mainly based on the extraction and export of mineral resources. The processing industry plays a small role in the economies of African countries – raw materials in many countries are exported almost 100%. Many experts argue that the development of the processing industry can contribute to economic growth and thus to a higher standard of living.

The Democratic Republic of congo accounts for 70% of the world's coltan stock, which is essential for the production of electrotechnical products such as mobile phones and computer processors, and is used in the space industry, and is covered by spacecraft. Due to the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and human rights violations, the acquisition of coltan and other tantalum ores in the conflict area has been banned by the UN. However, the raw material is still mined by Western corporations. Global demand for it continues to, thanks to the rapidly growing markets for electronic devices, including mobile telephony. Due to limited extraction over the last few years, tantalum prices have increased tenfold. 1 kg of coltan costs around 1 kg of coltan in Europe. 400$, and in the area where there are coltan mines, 3$ per kg.

Also important is the national policy – defining the internal situation, and the international ( trade) – defining relations with other countries and the country's position on the international stage. Corruption is a problem in many African countries. It is one of the obstacles to effective reform that would accelerate development.


Access to water and sanitation and access to education are fundamental rights for all people. Meanwhile, there are almost 900 million people in the world without clean water, around 2.5 billion cannot use sanitation, 75 million children do not attend primary school and 770 million adults are erstwhile. These problems concern sub-Saharan Africa in particular. Despite improvements in recent years due to the actions carried out by national governments and communities and the support of international and non-governmental organisations from around the world, access to safe (i.e. unindominated) sources does not have as much as 48% of the Population of Africa. This is due a shortage of fresh water resources and a lack of adequate infrastructure (wells, water supply, sewerage systems).

Access to education means being able to go to school. The main benefit of this is to increase the ability to make informed choices. Better educated people tend to have higher incomes, which increases their standard of living. In addition, a higher level of education facilitates active participation in public life and decision-making. The problem of access to education in particular affects girls and women. Their exclusion from the education process is due to various factors, e.g. poverty, existing social norms or armed conflicts.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 42 million children are not allowed to attend school. The most difficult situation is in Liberia, Niger, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, as it affects more than 60% of children. Illiteracy among adults is also a problem – in Africa, around 100 000 people are living in poverty. 40% of people can't read and write.

Investments in water and sanitation, school building and teacher training are the solutions to these problems. This is carried out by governments supported by international organisations ( UNICEF) and non-governmental organisations, including Polish.

One such organization is Face To Face With The World. Through educational projects, i.e. online lessons with the world, heart adoptions and help children return to school, we support education in Africa. all our accomplishments can be followed on our website


Most African countries are agricultural countries. In Tanzania and Mozambique, more than 80% of all workers are employed in this sector of the economy. African agriculture is mostly family farming – the size of the farmland often does not exceed 1 hectare, the main purpose of the crop is to provide food to the family, and surpluses are sold on the local market. Often, unfortunately, the amount of food produced is not enough. This is due to low agricultural productivity caused by unfavourable natural conditions (lack of water, infertile soils), natural disasters (droughts or downpours causing climate change) and lack of modern cultivation methods (low fertilizer consumption, lack of irrigation systems, poor mechanisation of agricultural production).

In addition to small farms and fields where food is grown for its own needs, there are numerous plantations in Africa where cocoa, cassero, bananas, coffee and tea are grown. These plantations mostly belong to foreign corporations or a small number of private entrepreneurs who employ the local population. The remuneration of plantation workers is not always enough for them to live a decent life and provide basic needs. Working on tea plantations in Kenya, for example, is often seasonal, which does not provide a permanent source of income. The wage is about $100,000. 0.5 dollars a day, or about $100 a year.

Africa back in the 1960s In the 20th century, it exported 1.3 million tonnes of food per year. At present, exports have disappeared and imported goods (milk powder from Belgium, rice from Pakistan) account for 25% of food. Geographical and climatic conditions and increasingly natural disasters (prolonged droughts and unpredictable rainfall resulting from climate change) make African countries dependent on external aid, thereby losing food security.

The current situation, in which millions of Africans are starving, is also the result of agricultural and trade policies pursued by the rich countries of the European Union and the United States. The direct effect of the subsidies that European countries and the US Government pay to their farmers is the very low prices of the food they produce. This results, for example, in the sale of European chickens in Cameroon below the actual cost of production. African farmers, being able to compete with the prices of imported food, cease production, which is the main source of their livelihood. Losing their source of income, they migrate to cities in search of work, where they often settle in slums.

The lack of self-sufficiency of African countries in food production, i.e. food sovereignty, is also due to policies pursued by international organisations, e.g . The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which are forcing economic reforms on African countries that are incomparable to the realities of the continent. Over the past few decades, Western experts have discouraged small farms from operating, promoting food imports.


Africa is the least urbanised continent in the world, with 61% of its population living outside its borders. However, the situation is changing rapidly, with africa experiencing the fastest growth rate of urbanisation in the world. The reason for the increase in the number of cities is the migration of the rural population to cities where farmers are looking for employment. The continent's largest cities include Lagos (Nigeria) with more than 11 million inhabitants, Cairo (Egypt, population 7.6 million) and Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of congo, 6.5 million inhabitants). About 30 metropolises in Africa have exceeded one million inhabitants.

SOURCE:, wikipedia, www.

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