There is a prevalent level of poverty in Africa and it is caused by a lot of things. One, African nations are blessed with bad leaders who have no vision for the people they are governing. Two, the poor understanding of religion by Africans themselves, which serves to promote laziness and mediocrity. Most Africans have been conditioned to think that you can pray yourself into success. But, the truth is that you can’t solve laziness with prayer. If you don’t work hard, you will spend the rest of your life in church shouting ‘I receive’.
Even though the Bible says that Jesus came so we can have life in abundance, there is a concerning level of poverty in Africa. In some nations, the cause is sometimes due to oppressive governments that serve themselves at the expense of its people. However, that is not necessarily an excuse poor people should use to justify their situation. The actions of the government can affect our financial standing, but that should not be an excuse for poor management of personal finances. I would like to address some of the causes of poverty among African men and what must be done to overcome them.
1. Believing Money Is Evil
There is a common misconception among some religious African people that money is evil but that kind of thinking is erroneous. Beliefs
that you hold have the greatest potential for good or harm in your life. Beliefs can either be true
or false and so, it is important that you have the right beliefs based on truth. Holding on to the belief that money is evil will make it difficult for you to attract money. There are some who even believe that rich men are wicked and inconsiderate. They believe that once you are rich, it may be difficult for you to enter heaven.
According to the Bible: ‘For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced
themselves through with many sorrows’. 1 Timothy 6:10. Money in itself is not evil. It is the love of money that is evil. Africans need to understand that we are born to have life in abundance. God is a giver of good things. And because of that, we should be open to receive the blessings that come our way.
2. Lack of Proper Planning
When you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. I have experienced this truth in the area of my finances. When I did not plan the use of my finances, I wondered where the money went to and realized how much I had wasted. If you plan before spending, you will be in a better financial position than you are today.
Poor people remain stuck in poverty because most don’t know how to manage their finances. And probably most were never taught at home how to do so. Money tends to amplify what you already are at the core, so it is never really about how much money you make. It is about the careful and prudent use of the money. Poor planning is one of the major causes of poverty and, learning to manage what you have is paramount. If you are faithful with little, you will be faithful with much. We may need to prepare financial goals to help us manage our finances.
3. Trying To Keep Up with Others
Poor people have a tendency to want to look rich in the eyes of other people, yet the end result is misery. You do not want to be one of those people who want to keep with other people’s lifestyle when they know how shallow their financial standing is. Do not buy things just to look good in front of others because that will ultimately lead you to financial trouble that will bring stress to your life and affect your close relationships. Money
problems are a major cause of divorce and soured relationships, so you have to be prudent. Run your own race and stick to your plan, not someone else’s.
4. Lack of Financial Literacy
Lack of understanding about money is another major factor that keeps people in poverty. When you do not take charge for your own financial education, someone else will do that and they may easily mislead you in the process. One of the key things you need to learn is the difference between an asset and a liability. Assets put money into your pocket while liabilities take money out of your pocket. You need to understand those things that put money into your pocket and the ones that take money away.
5. Corruption and Bad Leaders
Corruption, poor programme implementation and monitoring among others has contributed immensely to poverty in Africa. Also, poor accountability and lack of transparency in resource allocation have become the order of the day and this has created a dwindling pattern in the lives of the people. Good governance can generate a viable society with the basic needs of the people being taken care of and adequate provision of resources and infrastructure that will raise the standard of living and reduce poverty.