In a war torn country, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, there are a number of complex reasons why it is still to this day a poor nation. The central African country is bordered by numerous nations with whom it has had conflicts. There have been a number of complex reasons, including conflicts over basic resources such as water, access and control over rich minerals and other resources like oil, and various political agendas. This has been fueled and supported by various national and international corporations and other regimes which have an interest in the outcome of the conflict.
There are clear statistical differences in why the Democratic Republic of Congo (D. R. C. ) is so much the opposite of the United States (U. S. ). Comparing these two places will show Just how poor and conflicted the DRC is to the U. S. The D. R. C. and the U. S. have relatively high foreign external debts, but the U. S. is especially higher. According to the Central Intelligence Agency (C. I. A. ) website on country statistics, the U. S. owes roughly $17 trillion today, whereas the D. R. C. , as of December 31st, 2012 only owes $6 billion.
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The United States provides approximately $428 million dollars a year to the D. R. C in economic and military assistance. In comparing their Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and Gross National Product (GNI, formally GNP) with the U. S. , there is a significant difference. GDP at purchaser’s prices is the sum of gross value added by all resident producers in the economy, plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. Even though the D. R. C. has a huge total GDP of $27. 3 billion USD, their GDP per capita that is spent on each person a year is only $271. 97 USD (World Bank). The U. S. has a total GDP of $15. 94 trillion with the GDP per capita at $50,700 GNI is the sum of value added by all resident producers, plus any product (C. I. A. ). taxes not included in the valuation of output, plus net receipts of primary income. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the D. R. C. has a total GNI of $24. 53 billion USD and a per capita GNI of only $340. The U. S. in comparison has a total GDI of $16. 77 trillion and per capita GNI of $43,743.
In understanding how their GDP and GDI can be so much higher compared to what they provide their people I will give other economic statistics on their trading partners and their main industries, rops, and minerals. The D. R. C. ‘s main trading partners in exporting are China (53. 0%), Zambia (24. 5%), and Belgium (7. 9%) and in importing they are South Africa (21. 4%), China (15. 1%), and Belgium (7. 9%) (C. I. A. ). D. R. C. ‘s main industries are mining, mineral processing, consumer products such as, textiles, plastics, footwear, and cigarettes, metal products, processed food and drinks, timber, cement, and commercial ship repair.
Their main crops are coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, cotton, cocoa, quinine, cassava, bananas, plantains, peanuts, root crops, and corn. Main minerals include cobalt, copper, diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, niobium, tantalum, and petroleum. The United States in comparison fares far better off than the D. R. C. Our main trading partners in exporting are from China (19%), Canada (14. 1%), Mexico (12%), Japan (6. 4%), and Germany (4. 7%). The U. S. s main industries are petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, and mining. Our main crops are wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables, and cotton nd our main minerals are coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc and petroleum (C. I. A. ). There are also differences in the two countries. The population in the whole U. S. combined is roughly 317 million people, while in the D. R. C. there are about 75 million people.
With those figures it appears that there is a much smaller population of people in the D. R. C. , but in reality with the amount of land that each nation encompasses, the differing amounts are closely the same. In the D. R. C. The population density is 28. and in the U. S. there are 34. 06 people. That is only roughly 5 more people per square mile in the U. S. , 34. 3% urban. The D. R. C. is the 20th largest nation in the world by population with the U. S. coming in at 4th, roughly 82% being urban. The life expectancy, fertility, and infant mortality rates in the D. R.
C. are by far the biggest indicator on how bad their economy and health is. With the quality of life and society as a whole being impoverished, the D. R. C. ‘s population on average is only expected to live to be 56. 14 years with a 2. 54% population growth rate. In the U. S. ur life expectancy is on average 78. 62 years with a . 09% population growth rate. With the D. R. C. having higher population growth than the U. S. , fertility rates are much higher. The fertility rate in the D. R. C. is 4. 95 children, per women whereas, in the U. S. our fertility rates are 2. 6 children, per woman. Infant mortality rates in the D. R. C. are 74. 87 deaths out of every 1,000 live births with the U. S. only having 5. 9 deaths out of every 1,000 births. In the D. R. C adult literacy rates are extremely low with only 66. 8% of people over the age of fifteen can read or write. In the United States 99% over the age of fifteen can do so. Access to clean water and sanitation might be one explanation as to why the people of the D. R. C. have so many problems. Only 45% of the D. R. C. population has safe water to drink and ways to stay clean, but in the U. S. ur total population is at 100% availability for clean water and sanitation (C. I. A. ). With there being wide spread poverty in the D. R. C. communications, the ability to reach the outside world is even less desirable. Telephone services are owned and operated by the corrupt government, and radio and television transmissions are State-controlled. According to a statistical website that aims to facilitate comparison of publicly available data on all countries of the world, states that there are 2 televisions, 19 cell phones, and 385 radios owned out of every 1,000 people in the D.
R. C. compared to the U. S. at 1,180 televisions, 600 landline phones, 670 cellular phones, and 2,146 radios per 1,000 people (Allcountries. org)). In conclusion, the D. R. C’s economy being what it is, and a government that is riddled with corruption, there is a long road ahead of them. This republic government faces challenges that include the presence of armed groups in eastern D. R. C. , rampant corruption, inadequate infrastructure and human resources, and a limited capacity to raise and manage revenues. According to the U. S.
Department of State, “In trying to encourage the growth and living standards for the Congolese citizens, the U. S has taken steps to aid in the D. R. C. ‘s structure. The D. R. C. and the U. S. belong to a International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. The U. S. relations with the D. R. C. are strong. The U. S. foreign policy in the D. R. C. is focused on helping the country become a nation that is stable and democratic, at peace with its eighbors, extends state authority across its territory, and provides for the basic needs of its citizens. In my opinion, the D. R. C. ‘s government has made little effort to punish the rebel groups who are responsible for the chaos. The government itself is unstable and plagued by corruption which heightens the already devastating conditions. There needs to be real support for the ongoing peace process, and holding our allies in the region accountable for their actions. Being socially, politically, legally, and economically empowered, I believe the citizens of the D. R. C. will rise up and promote a positive change.