Despite having abundant natural resources, the West African sub region still slugs behind the rest of the world in terms of economic development. The following report presents an analysis of the West African region, based on the elements of development and dependency and the effects that they have had on the region’s development. This report will first identify the main elements that have been key hindrances to the development in the sub region. The report will conclude by providing a prediction of the future development in the region as well as the factors that will be key in sustaining its long term development.
Different regions in the world have varying economies. These variations are based on the GDP per capita of the countries in the region and extend to extreme ends. The West African sub region is comprised of seven countries, most of which have the lowest GDP per capita in the world. Handelman’s definition of a third world country is one that is underdeveloped politically, economically and socially. Countries in this sub region fit this description perfectly. These countries have a variety of ethnic tribes and are currently marked by civil war. This sub region is also highly populated, with over 290 million people as at 2012, with half of this population living in Nigeria.
In this region, most of the countries are low income countries. These countries top the list of the World’s poorest countries as shown in the following table. For instance, as at 2011, Liberia had a GDP per capita of $ 440.66, Sierra Leone had $820, Malawi $906.65 (World Bank, 2012). Countries in the West African Sub region are shown in bold.
The slow growth and poor GDP among these West African countries have been triggered wars and political turmoil that has been experienced in the region for decades.