In Central Africa throughout the Great Lakes and Coastal regions, there is violent conflict, primarily caused by mineral wealth as well as ethnic, cultural, and religious division. Literacy and education are among the lowest in the world, and women are given few educational opportunities. The abundance of rare materials has fallen into the hands of foreign governments at the locals’ expense, and the countries themselves are over-dependent on foreign aid. The land is eroded through poaching, deforestation, overfishing, and slash-and-burn techniques. Central Africa lacks the basic infrastructure needed to provide efficient trade routes but they are essential due to its vast natural resource supply. Politically, the area is underdeveloped and has ineffective government infrastructure. Politicians are corrupt and use the system in order to gain personal glory, and military coups, violent uprisings, and rigged elections are rampant throughout the region.
Recently, 25 African countries decided to establish a free-trade zone that will reach a market of more than 650 million people, but Central Africa was excluded from this agreement. Trade is hindered by a lack of proper roads and infrastructure as well as rampant corruption. Throughout the Sub-Saharan, income inequality and poverty are apparent. Those who work hard often do not succeed, and those who do succeed often know the right people. The latter typically work for or with white-skinned individuals, and the youth is under the impression that to be successful, one must be white.
The population in Africa is on a constant flux. The continent has one of the highest averages of annual births, as well as the highest rates of death. Agricultural living demands children to assist parents, and deaths from Malaria, HIV, and West Nile virus only increase this demand. Conflicts are common with skirmishes being fought over religious differences and among the hundreds of ethnic groups. Ethnic differences are being settled violently with 45 thousand deaths a month and 2.5 million children killed in total. Africa is also starting to feel the worst effects of climate change. Droughts, desertification, famine, and population displacement are already beginning. The priority in Africa is to increase access to energy and economic prosperity. Only with a cease of conflicts can foreign humanitarian and economic efforts progress.
Central Africa’s rich supply of Coltan, a mineral that is essential for electronic devices to function, causes violent conflict between the DRC, Rwandan, and Ugandan groups. UN forces have sent agents to help the DRC transform into a fair democracy. However, the peacekeeping effort does not include many important actors in the society, including NGO’s, advocacy groups, religious groups, etc. The assistance often neglects political and cultural history. China has influence over a large amount of mineral resources, posing a threat to the western world. China is also beginning to push U.S. influence out of Africa by infiltrating Djibouti, a country strategically located near Yemen and Somalia and the location of a key U.S. embassy. Beijing and Djibouti signed a security and defense agreement in 2014, which guarantees Chinese use of Djibouti as a naval base and increases Chinese strategic and military influence in the region.
Various terrorist regime, such as Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab, arose in the fractured region and are aligning themselves with the Islamic State.The coastal region including Somalia, gave rise to the terrorist regime, Al-Shabaab, which Ethiopia and Kenya are trying to subdue through AMISOM. Somalia practices piracy, holding hostages for years until a ransom is paid. On the west coast, Boko Haram, which declared allegiance to ISIS, violently opposes Western education and has spread into Northern Cameroon. In July 2015, Boko Haram carried out a 48-hour massacre, killing about 200 people.