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Reasons for Low Per Capita Income and Low Standard of Living in West African Countries

(i) Inadequate supply of capital:

Without enough capital, countries cannot embark on capital projects that will lead to an increase in production and the national income. Hence, due to low productivity, income level is also low.

(ii) Inadequate infrastructural facilities:

The insufficient infrastructural facilities (both social and economic) discourage investments and slows down economic activities, thus leading to low national income. Irregular power supply: The irregularity in the power supply to industries reduces their productivity level. This reduces the level of national income.

(iii) The level of technical know-how:

The low level of technical know-how which is common in the West African region, also leads to low productivity in their industries.

(iv) Political Instability:

This is one of the major reasons for low productivity and, therefore, low level of national income. Investors, both local and foreign, are scared of investing in a country where there is no peace and political stability for fear of losing their investments.

(v) Over dependency on imported goods:

Over dependence on imported goods, and the citizens’ actual preference for these goods, have discouraged many investors from setting up their own indigenous industries. They prefer to import and sell rather than produce.

(vi) Inadequate skilled personnel:

The insufficient supply of skilled personnel in certain key areas of the economy, has led to the continuous low productivity in such areas.

(vii) The Spirit of true entrepreneurship is lacking:

Many West African entrepreneurs lack the spirit of true entrepreneurship. They are not willing to take the high risk that goes with high returns. Therefore. many of them prefer to invest in short-term businesses, rather than in businesses that have long gestation periods.

(viii) Over-population:

The overpopulation experienced in many West African Countries places a lot of burden on the already low national income of these countries. Income that would have been invested. is used for the maintenance of the teeming population.

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