Why are African countries so poor compared to the rest of the world?

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There are many reason's for the differences in wealth when comparing Africa to countries such as the U.S and European countries. However, you will even see in Africa differences in wealth, i.e. the relative wealth of Nigeria in comparison to Zimbabwe. The main reason I believe is due to the governing bodies of theses countries, whereby democracy and free trade is crucial to the growth of a country and without this they will struggle. Take North and South Korea for example, the dictatorship in the North has strangled growth as its closed economy has no room for new ideas. Where as the South has benefitted from having democracy and free trade and is converging to its steady state (see Solow Growth Model). The closing of the economy by these dictators is because they are scared that if they allow freedom to their citizens they may lose their positions in government. Therefore, before these countries even start to try and improve their wealth there needs to be major changes politically ... more
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