April 28, 2018

GUINEA: The Country’s First Democratically Elected President Thinks He May Be Indispensable, President Alpha Condé Hints That He May Scrap Term Limits. 😦

The Economist
written by Staff
Thursday April 26, 2018

THE main road from the Sierra Leone border to Guinea’s capital is lined with more than just potholes. Armed men sit in the shade at makeshift checkpoints and take turns to extort money from passers-by. Despite all the correct paperwork, your correspondent was robbed eight times in under an hour. “Your bag looks suspicious,” said one guard, clasping his Kalashnikov. It was just a bag full of dirty laundry, but the guard shook his head. Clearly stinky socks were a threat to national security. Fortunately, he had a solution. “Give me 40,000 francs ($4.50),” he said.

Despite appearances, Guinea has grown less corrupt under Alpha Condé, who has been president since 2010. In the year he was elected the country ranked a woeful 164th out of 178 countries on an index of corruption compiled by Transparency International, a watchdog. Now high-level graft has ebbed a bit. By 2017 Guinea had moved up to 148th, grabby border police notwithstanding.

Cleaning up has not been easy. A graft-busting treasury chief was assassinated by men in military uniform in 2012. And activists complain that high-ranking officials are never prosecuted for taking backhanders. “The only people [in prisons] have stolen chickens,” says Frédéric Loua, founder of Same Rights for All, a human-rights group.

Surrounded by ornate swords in his palace, Mr Condé says his country is a better place. The former dissident and political prisoner has a point. Guinea’s previous leaders were a brutal bunch. They included Ahmed Sékou Touré, a deranged despot who ruled for 26 years, and a string of grotesquely corrupt military juntas whose soldiers raped and massacred opposition supporters. Civilian rule under Mr Condé has been more peaceful.

Economic growth is picking up, too. It hit 6.7% last year, helped by a boom in mining as well as the government’s genuine efforts to attract investment. Even so, despite vast mineral wealth, Guinea is desperately poor, with a GDP of little more than $800 per person, about half the region’s average.

People are losing patience. Thousands have taken to the streets to complain about poor pay, a lack of electricity, police brutality and allegations of voter fraud in the recent local elections. At least 15 people have died in clashes in the past two months.

Given Guinea’s ethnic tensions, this is ominous. The president’s party, the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG), is dominated by the Malinké group, who are about 35% of the population. The largest opposition party, the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), mainly come from the Peul group, roughly 40% of the country. Many Peul feel they have been discriminated against by the Condé government. The UFDG says that dozens of Peul have been killed by the security forces. Instead of calming tensions, some politicians are encouraging their supporters to “break the mouths” of the opposition.

Mr Condé dismisses such concerns: “Flemings and Walloons in Belgium...find it hard to live together but nobody talks about it. They talk about ethnicity only for Africa.” Some worry that Mr Condé will try to change the constitution so that he can run for a third term in 2020. That would surely provoke violence in the street. Yet Mr Condé refuses to scotch the rumour. It is “the Guinean population’s decision, not mine”, he tells The Economist. He also argues that African presidents should not have term limits, because these get in the way of them carrying out ambitious long-term projects. Ordinary Africans have heard this line before.

Outside the palace, a car trundles past with loudspeakers singing presidential praise. “Alpha Condé is the father of the nation. Alpha Condé is the husband to all the women.” Mr Condé has indeed moved the country on from its dark days. But he should know when to let go.
[source: NaijaQuest.com]

Here is the updated list of the top 20 poorest countries in the world at the moment. This ranking is based on the Gross domestic product (GDP) purchasing-power-parity (PPP) per capita of each of this countries. This way we would be able to tell the actual standard of living of people in most of this countries.

Actually in some of these poorest countries in the world today, there are rich people who can even be regarded as billionaires but the population of those living in poverty beats those who are living large. Though it is not easy to define what it actually means to be poor, economists have set standards based on where you live, income and time to define if a person is actually poor. So an income threshold is set and those who fall below it are regarded as poor.

It is disheartening to note that 17 of the 20 countries in these poorest countries in the world are from Africa. Though there have been efforts to reduce the poverty level on the continent various factors like corruption, epidemics, famine, conflicts and lots more have not helped to improve the living standard of people on the continent. Below are the top 20 poorest countries in the world;

1. Democratic Republic of Congo: This is the second largest country in Africa in terms of land mass but has been beset with violence over the years. This country suffers from a high rate of malnutrition and mortality and is number 1 on the list of top 20 Poorest countries in the world, with a GDP PPP of $394.25.

2. Zimbabwe: This is a landlocked country in southern Africa and has been ruled by Robert Mugabe since the year 1980. Zimbabwe is second on this list with a GDP PPP of $588.46.

3. Burundi: This is a landlocked country in East Africa which has been plagued with constant warfare, widespread contamination of AIDS, corruption, and poor education, they have a GDP PPP of $648.58.

4. Liberia: This country has been ravaged by two civil wars which were started by a coup in the year 1980. The wars devastated the economy leaving the country with a GDP PPP of $716.04.

5. Eritrea: Currently spots Number five on the top 20 poorest This country is located in the Horn of Africa and became independent in the year 1991. This country has a fast growing economy at 8.7 percent, but a GDP PPP of $792.13.

6. Central African Republic: This country has degenerated into practical anarchy after a coup in the year 2013. The Central African Republic also suffered from armed conflicts in the 2000’s which have left devastating effects on the economy they now have a GDP PPP of $827.93.

7. Niger: This country suffers from a lack of infrastructure, poor healthcare facilities, low educational standards, environmental degradation and has a GDP PPP of $853.43.

8. Malawi: This country has a low life expectancy, high infant mortality and high prevalence of AIDS all these factors have left Malawi with a GDP PPP of $893.84.

9. Madagascar: This Island is a beautiful place to be though over 90 percent of its population lives at less than two dollars per day and with a GDP PPP of $972.07.

10. Afghanistan: Currently number 10 poorest country in the world, This is largely considered one of the most dangerous places in the world and is the largest producer of refugees and asylum seekers with a GDP PPP of $1,072.19.

11. Mali: This is the third largest producer of gold in African though half of its population lives below the international poverty line and has a GDP PPP of $1,136.77.

12. Togo: Though Togo serves as a regional and trade center in its region, political instability has stalled growth in the country leaving it with a GDP PPP of $1,145.94.

13. Guinea: Guinea is the second largest producer of bauxite in the world and also has rich deposits of gold and diamonds though it has a GDP PPP of $1,163.18, which has left it at Number 13th on the list of top 20 poorest countries in the world.

14. Ethiopia: This is the most populous landlocked nation in the world, famines and civil wars have destabilized the country economy over the years and they currently have a GDP PPP of $1,258.60.

15. Mozambique: Though this counties GDP is actually high, life expectancy and human development is low. This makes us understand that the wealth in the country belongs to a few they have a GDP PPP of $1,262.96.

16. Guinea-Bissau: This West African country was once part of the Mali Empire and has been independent since the year 1973. The country suffers from political instability has no president has ever served the full five-year term, they have a GDP PPP of $1,268.46, leaving them at spot 16 among the poorest countries in the world.

17. Comoros: This is the third smallest nation in Africa in terms of landmass and has suffered from numerous coup attempts. Half of the people in this country live below the poverty line which has a GDP PPP of $1,296.77.

18. South Sudan: This is a new country which got her independence in 2011. South Sudan has inadequate infrastructure, the highest maternal mortality and female illiteracy rate in the word. It has a GDP PPP of $1,324.10.

19. Nepal: This is a country which is not supposed to be on this list based on how rich they are in term of tourist attractions. This country is home to eight of the 10 (which also includes Mt. Everest) and also the host to Lumbini which is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. This country is 19 on the list of top 20 poorest countries in the world with a GDP PPP of $1,347.62.

20. Haiti: This Caribbean country was the first independent nation of Latin America and second republic in the entire Americas. Haiti has been ravaged by political violence for years now and landed at number 20 spot on the list of poorest countries in the world with a GDP PPP of $1,358.10.

There you have it on ” Top 20 Poorest Countries In The World “, share your thoughts and suggestions with us through the comment box and like us on facebook @ facebook.com/9jaquest or follow us on twitter @ twitter.com/NaijaQuest.

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