Economic Activities of Africa
Objective : To explain the economic and social activities of Africa and compare them with Nepal.
Africa has vast natural resources but it has not mobilized them fully. It has about 800 black races of people. Poverty, disease, famine, civil wars, illiteracy etc. are the major hindrances of development in Africa. Besides these, there is a great problem of AIDS which results the countless people’s death and their children become orphans. This is also a major obstacle in the development of many countries in Africa. Major economic activities of Africa are as follows:
Very small portion (about 8% of the total land) of Africa is under cultivation. Agriculture is still the main occupation in Africa. Most farmers in Africa are involved in subsistent farming. They grow just enough food to live on. The people in the areas with reliable rainfall are involved in cattle rearing instead of agriculture. Major crops grown in Africa are maize, paddy, wheat, millet, tea, coffee, cocoa, cotton etc. Fruits like mango, banana, jackfruit, papaya, pineapple, grapes etc are also grown in different parts of the continent. People are involved in commercial farming in the areas like Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Botswana. But majority of the farmers are in subsistent farming and are not able to raise their economic status.
2. Animal Husbandry:
Animal husbandry is practiced in almost every country in Africa. Cattle and sheep rearing have developed in the temperate grassland in South Africa on a large scale. The wool of the Merino sheep is the famous export of South Africa. Most people involved in animal husbandry are in subsistent type so; they do not earn maximum. There is a problem of lack of sufficient technique as well as market for their products.
Very few large scale industries are established based on agriculture for their raw materials. Cottage industries are still the major industries in most countries. South Africa and Egypt are the industrialized nations of Africa. Although Africa is very rich in natural resources, it has not utilized these resources establishing industries because Africa lacks the following infrastructures of industrial development:
- Skilled human power
- Good market
Most parts of Africa is remote but it has beautiful geographical structure. This is the richest continent from the view point of animals. Kenya alone has 40 National Parks. Tourists come in million from other countries to view these animals. But the tourists in Africa have some problems like:
- Shortage of food
- Lack of transportation
- Lack of communication
- Lack of trained guides
- Lack of security
- Lack of proper accommodation
Tourism is very important area of Africa which can be developed well and solve various problems of the continent.
Besides these, the people are involved in forestry, fishing, trade and services to earn their livelihood. Many African countries have to spend large amount of money paying interest on loans they have taken from other countries. These countries should be supported for industrial development and the loan should be excused from humanitarian ground. Africa should establish political stability, peace and security and corruption free society in order to develop the sources of income for African people.