Most countries in central Africa were European colonies. Central African countries are very poor, and they are struggling to build stable governments/strong economies.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was a Belgian colony until 1960. A military leader named Joseph Mobutu ruled it as an autocracy. ◦ The name of Democratic of the Congo was renamed Zaire under his rule.
Under Mobutu’s rule the government borrowed money from other countries to expand industry. Government/business were taking all of the money, so farmers suffered. ◦ He got richer; citizens got poorer. In I997, after a civil war, a new government took over and renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Although the DRC has many resources (gold, diamonds, copper), most people are very poor. Many are moving to Kinshasa, the capital city. ◦ Crowded ◦ Poor slums ◦ Businesses not willing to open there (due to the past)
Unlike the DRC, the government and economy are stable in Cameroon. They produce cacao, cotton and coffee and have oil reserves. A decent infrastructure helps people transport goods. The standard of living is higher because more people can afford to go to school.
Angola won independence from Portugal in 1975. A civil war lasted until 2002, and it is now a republic with an elected president. The economy is struggling. ◦ Land mines left over from war ◦ Subsistence farming = only source of income ◦ High rate of inflation inflation is the rise in prices that occurs when currency loses its buying power. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGPBTEugNnI
Disease kills many people in Central Africa. ◦ Malaria is a disease spread by mosquitoes that causes a high fever. Most common cause of death in Central Africa. HIV, a virus that causes AIDS, is very common in central Africa. ◦ There is no cure, but humanitarian aid efforts are trying to slow the spread. ◦ Many die of the disease.
Food production is not keeping up with the population. There are many food shortages and malnutrition, the condition of not getting enough nutrients from food. There is hope for Central Africa’s future. ◦ National parks set up ◦ Billions of dollars spent improving conditions