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The Role of Geography and Demography in Africa’s Development: An Assessment.

Anthony Ikhide Osawe,


Most studies on economic development of Africa have tended to apportion the very slow pace of Africa’s development mostly to socio-economic reasons and absence of robust, equitable policies. This paper attempts an assessment of the role of geography in explaining the influence of tropical region and its attendant features as the bane of Africa’s rapid economic growth. It relies on secondary data from Ambrose Alli University Library, internet and other archival materials and has as well benefited from work done under several other research programmes. The study assesses the process of tropical development and Africa's problems within a worldwide tropical perspective; the demographic trends in Africa, with emphasis on the low levels of population density and urbanization and the delayed demographic transition compared with other developing regions. It further examines the roles of geography, demography, and policy in Africa's growth experience; and considers future growth strategies, and the urgent need for urban-based export growth in manufacturing and services. The paper concludes that Africa’s development requires a shift from the traditional primary products to manufacturing, urbanization and closing the gap of spatial inequalities between urban and rural and between countries and regions in the continent. Keywords: Assessment, Geography, Infectious Disease, Poverty, Agricultural productivity..

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