Something odd is coming up on the Lab’s radar.
Africa is not doing well. Living longer is not happening.
Let’s look at the causes and the effects. The benefits are the resources up for the taking.
Botswana is home to 35 percent of Africa’s diamonds, most of which are gem quality, and is the world’s leading producer of diamonds by value. While the country also produces other minerals including copper, gold, nickel, and soda ash, diamonds remain Botswana’s main industry and account for the bulk of its gross domestic product.
In 1990, Botswana lived to 62 years per the World Bank. Now is 46 years. That was the US life expectancy in 1900.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is estimated to have more than $24 trillion worth of untapped raw mineral ore deposits, but even so it remains one of the greatest producers of diamonds (34 percent) and copper (13 percent) in Africa. However, the DRC continues to suffer from corruption and crime, and has been forced to shut down many mining operations to curb illegal activity.
Here life expectancy went from 47 years to 49 in the same period.
South Africa has been the richest economy on the continent, in large part thanks to its enormous mining industry. While diamonds and gold constituted the largest portion of South Africa’s initial mining interests, the discovery of many other minerals allowed the country to diversify its investments. South Africa is the world’s largest producer of chrome, manganese, platinum, vanadium, and vermiculite, and the second-largest producer of ilmenite, palladium, rutile, and zirconium
Here life expectancy went from 62 years to 57 in the same period.
Power supply and water shortages plague the nations. Corruption and crime are another factor. The less people create a culture where the riches can be had at a faction of their normal price.