For a continent which has all the natural mineral resources in the world, as well as most of the known animals and plants, you have to agree with me that Africa, or rather its citizens, are poorer compared to other continents that are not fortunate to have so many natural resources. Given this, I guess, it is fair to ask, how do we manage to remain relatively poor given all that we have?

Some have argued that it is because Africa has the most corrupt government leaders in the world. While others have said that it is that, as much as Africa has natural resources, Africa lacks infrastructure.

I just think the main problem is mismanagement.

Cobalt and coltan are mined by children as young as 6 years old in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 📷 UNICEF

Corruption exists in every country. People will be people. They, especially in big business and politics, will steal, bribe, and all sorts of other things. However, in some African countries, this has been normalized and accepted as a normal way of life without any consequences.

Take the example of the Democratic Republic of Congo. A country endowed with cobalt and coltan, two minerals that are critical in the making of jet engines, electric vehicle batteries, smartphones, and other gadgets that we use daily. Yet, the country, whichever way you cut it, is poor.

Given the world we live in today, the DRC should be an economic superpower, but it is not. Not only that, but the world’s largest cobalt producer is also a Chinese company, Huayou Cobalt. Huayou supplies car and electronics companies with cobalt mined in the DRC. Not a DRC company, a Chinese company.

The mines too are not wholly owned by the DRC or its people. Hence many have resorted to artisanal mining, and in many cases, using children to mine these much sought after minerals. Not to mention that the DRC also has no known companies that produce electric vehicle batteries, electronic gadgets, or anything from cobalt - which it has over 50% in reserves globally.

It’s not just the DRC that manages to remain poor despite everything it has. The list of African countries is long. However, countries in Europe, Asia, America are richer with much less.

So, how do other countries do it?

Quote of the day

“My clients will be able to do whatever they want, just as I can do whatever I want.“ - Elon Musk (Tweet this)

Subcribe to our Daily Brief newsletter
Insights and analysis into how business and technology impact Africa. We promise to leave you smarter and asking the right questions every time after you read it. Sent out every Monday to Friday.





Marketing permission: I give my consent to iAfrikan Media to be in touch with me via e-mail using the information I have provided in this form for the purpose of news, updates, and marketing related to the Daily Brief newsletter.

What to expect: If you wish to withdraw your consent and stop hearing from us, simply click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email we send or contact us at [email protected] We value and respect your personal data and privacy. Do read our privacy policy. By submitting this form, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.


Share this via: