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Developmental Issues Facing Western African Regions

Today, development is also being described in terms of the next Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were proven by the United Nations (UN) and followed in 2000 by 189 world market leaders to help expanding countries promote change in eight center areas that would lessen poverty and improve peoples' livelihoods :

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Achieve universal most important education

Promote gender equality and empower women

Reduce child mortality

Improve maternal health

Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Achieve environmental sustainability

Develop a global partnership for development

In its Human being Development Article for 1995, the US Development Program (UNDP) mentioned that "the real wealth of a region is its people both women and men. And the goal of development is to build an allowing environment for folks to take pleasure from long, healthy and creative lives". Unfortunately, nearly all women and men in Western Africa cannot enjoy long, healthy and creative lives due to many development issues facing the spot. The Western world Africa region is made up of 16 countries - Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, which, except Mauritania, are associates of the Economic Community of Western African Says (ECOWAS).

This essay features what I consider to be the major development obstacles facing the spot. Although the region faces several problems, in my view the major ones are three, and they are corruption, armed conflicts and spiritual/ethnic issues.

Challenges to Development in Western Africa

2. 1 Corruption

Corruption is a major development task facing most, if not all countries in Western world Africa. The gravity of the situation in your community is well articulated by the US Office for Western Africa (UNOWA) when it suggests that since their inception, Western world African areas have been facing corruption as a problem. In some cases, it has attained degrees of gross and egregious robbery, for which no possible moral or historical justification can be advanced, and which includes played a significant role, both in the impoverishment of the spot as a whole and specifically in the alienation of its folks from their rulers. The negative impact of corruption on development is well documented. According to Lawal, amongst others, it limits economic growth because it reduces the quantity of public resources, discourages private investment and saving and impedes the useful use of federal revenue and development assistance money. Additionally it is worth to notice that in the case of West Africa, problem and embezzlement of public cash have often been cited among the reason why for armed forces takeovers.

2. 2 Armed Conflicts

Over the years, Western Africa has experienced several equipped conflicts leading to "sustainable" political instability, and I have no doubt that this is one of the reasons why, in January 2002, the US create its Office for Western Africa (UNOWA) with the overall mandate of enhancing the efforts of the UN for the achievement of peace and security in the region. Even though the brutal civil wars in Sierra Leone (from 1991 to 2002) and Liberia (from 1989 to 2003) are finally over, both countries still continue to be fragile. For example Liberia has, since 2003, depended closely on thousands of United Countries' troops for security. The areas of continued equipped conflict in the region include Casamance, the southern province of Senegal, where rebels have been struggling government soldiers since 1990, and the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, where several militant equipped groups, under the collective name Motion for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), have been waging a warfare against the Government fighting for a larger talk about of Nigeria's petrol revenues to go to the impoverished oil producing areas. Cte d'Ivoire and Guinea Bissau also have experienced armed conflicts. Recently, there's been a return to military rule in some countries in your community. On 6 August 2008 the government in Mauritania overthrew the country's first freely-elected leader ; in December the same year, soldiers took over ability in Guinea Conakry ; and in February 2010, mutinous troops in Niger captured the country's President after a firearm struggle and suspended the constitution and dissolved all political institutions.

Armed conflicts in the region are hurdles to development. These are leaving millions of individuals in a state of insecurity and deprivation. Also, they are traveling away potential foreign investments from the spot.

2. 3 Spiritual and Cultural Conflict

Religious and cultural conflicts are another development task facing the region. Although on the whole they are localized in certain countries, they tend to have a disturbing influence on the development activities of the spot.

Nigeria leads the set of countries with spiritual and ethnic issues in your community. For over a decade now, the united states has experienced several issues between Christians and Moslems, with the recent ones occurring in January 2010 in the location of Jos in Plateau Condition. The political instability in Cte d'Ivoire, where presidential election has been postponed seven times in five years, partly has its origins in spiritual and cultural factors. In 2000, Alassane Ouattara, a presidential prospect from the Northern part of the country, was disqualified by the country's Supreme Judge, anticipated to his alleged Burkinabe nationality. This led to violent protests where his supporters, mainly Muslims from the country's north, experienced these were being discriminated against in Ivorian politics.

Ghana, a country that has received international reward and recognition for its relatively free and reasonable elections and even handover of ability since 2000, also has had its own fair show of ethnic issues. The country's three Northern areas and the Volta Region have long standing issues between various ethnic communities, and sometimes among clans in the same cultural group. Recent highlights include in 2001 when more than 50 individuals were wiped out in clashes concerning associates of two tribes - the Kusasis and Mamprusis; March 2002, when the king of the Dagombas, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani, in Yedi, North Ghana was brutally killed in a chieftaincy dispute between the Abudu and Andani dedicated clan who discuss the command of the Dagombas; and could 2010, when the BBC, although the shape was later disputed by Ghana's Minister of Information, reported that Togo's Security Minister got indicated that some 3, 500 victims of ethnic conflict and land disputes in the north part of Ghana has crossed into Northern Togo.

There are various factors behind religious and ethnic conflicts in your community, among them fights for land and resources, long many years of discriminations, segmentation of ethnic groups through the colonial days and nights, chieftaincy disputes, and in some cases political affiliations of the cultural groups. These issues result in decrease of hundreds of lives, wanton devastation of private and general population property, and inner displacement of a large number of people.


Corruption, armed conflicts and religious/ethnic violence, among other difficulties, are adding to the slow tempo of development in Western world Africa. One major impact of the absence of sustainable development in your community has been wide spread poverty. Severe poverty in the region is forcing children to leave their homes to consider employment elsewhere, resulting in a rise in child labour in cocoa plantations and fishing industry, and child trafficking in your community. In addition, young men and women are participating in illegal activities such as medication peddling and smuggling, Internet fraudulence, equipped robberies and prostitution. The need to look for an improved life in other places is also making the youths to vacation resort to desperate procedures. There have been reports of teenagers and women from the region attempting to mix the Sahara desert by highway with the expectation of crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. The gravity of this matter was outlined lately by Odemwingie in his article when he indicated that "in the last decade, nearly every house carry in Benin-City acquired a member of family or two who acquired attempted the trip across the desert with desires of reaching Europe". Poverty and the search for an improved life in Europe and North America is also fueling real human trafficking, especially women, for the purpose of prostitution.

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