In 2016, all five of the world’s poorest countries are in Africa. These countries are mostly ruled by authoritarian regimes, and corruption is widespread. These countries are compared by their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, which is one of the primary indicators used to figure out the health of a country’s economy. In this article, GDP is measured in International Dollars.
Central African Republic (CAR)
This country became independent from France in 1960 and has had a democratically elected president since then. The current president of CAR is Faustin-Archange Touadéra, who has been president since March 30, 2016. The Central African Republic has a GDP per capita of $639.
2. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
Although the DRC contains a large amount of natural resources, it is still the second poorest country in the world. Right now the country is experiencing severe political unrest. President Joseph Kabila has been in office since the death of his father in 2001. The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s GDP per capita is $753.
Burundi is a small country that has been dealing with civil war, and Hutu-Tutsi ethnic conflict. The president of Burundi is Pierre Nkurunziza who won a third term last year. Burundi’s GDP per capita is $951.
Africa’s oldest republic is focusing their attention on next year’s presidential election, until then President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will remain in office. Since their civil war in 2003, the country has had peace and stability. Despite the recent stability, its economy is struggling to find its feet after the ebola crisis. Liberia’s GDP per capita is $934
80% of Niger is covered by the Sahara desert and is a rapidly growing population. The main drivers of their economy are gold and uranium, so the economy is at risk because of price shocks as well as droughts and floods. The president of Niger is Mahamadou Issoufou who has been president since April 2011. Niger’s GDP per capita is $1,069.
It seems that Africa is still struggling with poverty. Two of the countries, Niger, and the Central African Republic have persistent droughts. Reading this does not mean there aren’t any wealthy parts of Africa like Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt. But we need to know what is wrong with Africa as much as we know what is great about the United States. In my next post, I will explain how these countries became the way they are today.
In part one, I shared our 2016-2017 world history textbook is Robin Walker’s When We Ruled and a little about why I made the decision to use this text. Today, I’d like to share a bit more on why and how we are using his amazing work.
Why We Are Using: Is Black History Slave History?
This photo summarizes how history is taught to African-Americans:
Now, it is bad enough that this is the opening act in U.S. History, but World History? So many questions remain like:
What were “slaves” doing in Africa before slavery?
If they were in Africa, were they really slaves?
If they were not slaves, what were they doing?
If Africa had so many people with dark skin in the country, how did they become slaves and why are “white” people there now?
When did people with lighter skin come to Africa?
If darker skin people were in Africa and the bible we read seemed to take place just “above Africa”, how did Jesus and the others become “white”?
Were people in Egypt “white” or “black”?
If “white”, how did they get that way, evolution?
What did that make Moses?
What color were the people when the Hebrews, Joseph, Jacob, and Abraham went to Egypt?
What happened and who built those pyramids?
As you could see, working backward from where we are today generates many questions that need to be answered. Just working from slavery in America to today only provides one narrative, and that’s HIS-story. Needless-to-say, HIS-story usually goes like this:
African’s were savage people that were running around uncivilized in Africa, so Europeans started off with good intentions by giving them Christianity and brought them here to America like immigrants.
The early immigration plan went too far, and some evil people misused and mistreated those Africans, and made them slaves and treated them really bad.
Remember, they were savages. Therefore, the “bad treatment” they received in the “New World” was still probably better than their lives in Africa because after all, their own African people sold them to the Europeans anyway.
It was all God’s plan for without slavery, Black people would not know Christ.
Overall, without coming to America, African’s would still be running through the jungle with spears and no clothes because they never advanced to be civilized like other “races”.
Glory, Glory, Halleluiah, his untruth keeps marching on…school year after school year.
How We Are Using
As I stated previously, we are using the study guide as to set the pace for our lessons. Each day, my 15 and 12-year-olds have a portion to read and in some cases, write an essay on. As a matter of fact, I’m not going to go too deep into this as we will soon be giving an example! As their midterm final, they are to:
Choose any book in the bible.
Find a bible map that (if accurate and true) shows who inhabited that region when the book was written.
What nation was in charge?
How did they get there?
Based on what has been found and what Robin Walker states about that area, describe the people and their culture?
Now previously, one of the more interesting books in our library was written in 1881. What do you think that book said and what was the prevailing thought of “the negro” in 1881? Well, take a look:
Now to have in the library, fine, as it’s an interesting piece of work. But to teach, no thanks (at least not for the purposes generally recommended).
Robin Walker opens up When We Ruled by asking in chapter one, “What is Black History?” He goes on to quote the aforementioned Professor William Hansberry along with Professor Cheikh Anta Diop, the great Senegalese scholar to narrow our focus and begin to break of the hardened ground in our minds. Then the chapter flies over North Africa, West Africa, Ethiopia, Southern Africa and the East African Coast, proving that pyramids, royal palaces, and many other great massive structures were built on the continent that remain to this day but is rarely seen. Why are they not seen and why are they not tourists attractions like the structures in Rome, Paris, and Greece?
Photo Source: By Wufei07 – Own work, Public Domain,
When We Ruled is filled with many different diagrams, maps and photos throughout the 700+pages. So can find many various avenues to turn down to begin exploration on other historical events and places.
Now the next semester is soon upon us in a couple of weeks. If you do not have your copy (feel free to order from our affiliate link below) and want to join us on this journey, now is the time! But more importantly, now is the time to for us to know the truth about our past than we know about European history. After all, the knowledge contained in When We Ruled will do me and my children far more benefit, than knowing all about Zeus, Aphrodite, and Medusa, to name just a few myths that are forever etched in my brain taking up space.