Nations in the region
Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea. Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Central and Southern Africa has the most nations of all the tropical regions. It has seen substantial improvements in health and economic development over the past 60 years. Its population has doubled during that period, and it still faces enormous problems and has some of the worst statistics in the tropical world.
- From 1995 to 2010, gross domestic product in the region had an annual growth rate of 5.3% – the second fastest growing region in the Tropics.
- Since 1980, there has been a 61% increase in cattle/buffalo numbers (an extra 66 million beasts) and the greatest increase (154%) in sheep/goat holdings in the Tropics, or an additional 190 million head to 315 million.
- Cereal production increased by 173% to 96 million tonnes – the biggest increase in the Tropics.
- The overall population has more than doubled in the past 30 years with the region being one of only two in the Tropics where fertility rates are still above five births per woman.
- By 2050 it is estimated than 30% of the world’s children under ten years of age will live in the region.
- The region has had one of the strongest growth rates of adult mean years of schooling and adult literacy albeit from a low base.
- Life expectancy has increased from 36 years in 1950-55 to 54 in 2005-10 – the lowest in the Tropics.
- The number of the people living in extreme poverty has more than doubled in the past 30 years and the undernourished population has increased from 137 million in 1990-92 to 195 million in 2010-12.
- The percentage of the region’s urban population living in slum conditions was 76% in 2001 and in 2010 was estimated to be 62% in sub-Sahara Africa.
- HIV prevalence in region has been falling steadily from a peak of 5.2% in 1999, as has the AIDS mortality rate, the latter largely attributable to initiatives that have expanded access to antiretroviral therapy.
- AIDS has been a contributing factor to lower life expectancy as the region has 17 of the 21 nations where AIDS accounted for both more than 10% of deaths in 2008 and life expectancy at birth to fall by more than 15 years between 1990 and 2005 in some nations.
- Armed conflict, malaria and HIV were significant contributors to the regions having the highest rates of adult mortality.
- TB incidence was significantly higher than in most other tropical regions in 2010, although it has seen a 23% decline from the peak of 313 in 1999.
- The region carries the highest malaria burden, with nearly 160 million cases in 2010 or 75% of malaria cases in the Tropics. Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Cote d’Ivoire alone accounted for 47% of global malaria cases.
- The region achieved the second largest improvement in female representation in parliaments, increasing by 9.6% to 19.1% in 2011.
Nations in the region
Djibouti, Chad, Eritrea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Saudi Arabia (41.3%), Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Yemen.
- These areas had the lowest proportion of land degraded between 1981 and 2003, reflecting the large expanse of desert area across this region. The primary cause of human induced degradation was overgrazing.
- It has had the largest increase in total agricultural land area between 1980 and 2010, with an additional 510,000km2 under agricultural production
- Cattle/buffalo holdings increased by 39 million head or 90% between 1980 and 2010, and sheep/goat numbers jumped by 99% or an additional 116 million. Cereal production increased by 159%.
- However agriculture has declined in its contribution to GDP since 1980 from 26% to 20% in 2010. Industry has grown from 25% to 37%, and it is the only region in the Tropics where industry is the dominant contributor. The contribution of services has fallen significantly over the same period – the only region where this has happened.
- The region has the second smallest renewable water resource in the Tropics and the largest proportion (54%) coming from external sources. It has the second highest proportion of population vulnerable to water scarcity in the Tropics, up from 18% in 1962 to 62% in 2010. It has become one of the world’s leaders in desalination techniques accounting for more than 60% of global desalination capacity.
- The region has the biggest improvement in the rate of primary forest loss in 1990-2000 and the lowest proportion of threatened vertebrate species ranging from 1% of amphibians to 9% of mammals.
- With naturally high dust and aerosol sea salt levels, it has the worst air pollution in the Tropics but the measure has halved since 1990.
- The number of undernourished people has decreased by 9% but population growth has seen the actual numbers increase from 34 million to 46 million between 1990 and 2012.
- People living in extreme poverty declined from 53% of the population to 29% between 1991 and 2008 but again actual numbers rose from 30 million to 37 million.
- Population growth averaged 2.8% per annum in the 30 years to 2010, and economic growth 2.3% per annum. Along with Central & Southern Africa, the region has the highest fertility rates in the Tropics with more than five births per woman, but they are the only regions where life expectancy is less than 60 years, and the maternal mortality rate still remains high.
- The region had the greatest improvement in the youth literacy rate, with an average growth of 1.9% per annum (more than six times the global rate), although this was from a low base of 52%.
- It had strong growth in adult mean years of schooling but at only 3.3 years it is the lowest in the Tropics.
- The number of new TB cases has been increasing since 1990 but the mortality rate has declined by more than 50%. It has the second highest number and rate of new cases and deaths from malaria.