Yes, and No. Confused? Read and clear the air…
First of all, Africa is not a country but a continent. A country is a part of a continent. Apart from Africa, we have six other continents—Asia, Australia, Antarctica, North America, South America and Europe. Now some continents can also be countries like Australia and Antarctica, but they are exceptions.
The continent of Africa has 54 countries, nine territories and states with limited recognition. And most of them fall under developing, or underdeveloped category. A developing country has less industrialization and a low Human Development Index (HDI) as compared to other countries.
According to AllAfrica.com and Times online statistics, the continent has 90 percent of the world’s cobalt, 90 percent of its platinum, 50 percent of its gold, 98 percent of its chromium, 70 percent of its tantalite, 64 percent of its manganese and one-third of its uranium. Sadly, and ironically enough –given that its element riches can help it fund its own growth – the African countries are still rated as developing countries. This is due to corruption, high levels of illiteracy, malnutrition, lack of foreign investment and the ever-going civil unrest between tribal communities and military.
That being said, the use of the term “developing country” has come under criticism. Mainly because there are no universally accepted criteria to stack countries in developed or developing country categories – and rightly so. The late 1990s saw higher growth rate in the developing countries than the so-called developed nations. While the International Monetary Fund (IMF) considers per capita income level and export diversification as yardsticks for measuring the development of a particular nation, the United Nations Organisation (UNO) states that they have no established definition for “developed” and “developing” countries. In 2016, the World Bank went a step forward and decided to no longer differentiate countries under the two aforementioned categories. The term has officially been axed by the World Bank.
Africa is fast becoming the center of attraction for bigger economies like the US and China. According to recent news reports, Chinese companies pledged to invest more than US$60 billion in Africa in the coming years. Former US President Barack Obama in his last visit to Africa, in 2015, announced an investment of US$14 billion.
Learn more about the continent Africa through this Africa Map