Breaking the Cycle of Poverty for Developing a New Africa

Insights from Genesis 41:33-40

  • Okechukwu Nzenwa Okorie, PhD The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso
  • Victor Umaru Baptist College of Theology, Obinze-Owerri
Keywords: New Africa, Poverty, Leadership Development, Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Biblical Framework


The focus of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative since 2015 has been “Eradicating extreme poverty for all people everywhere by 2030,” if not wholly, then at least reduce it to an ambitious 3% of the world’s population. These concerns have been a reality in Africa, home to 34 of the world’s 48 poorest countries, and about two-thirds of the world’s developing countries are in Africa. Furthermore, of the 32 countries in the world with the lowest levels of human development, 24 are in Africa. Even in other continents, where poverty levels have declined dramatically over the past four decades, Africa’s population of poor people has increased. Therefore, if poverty is to be reduced to 3% globally, Africa would be at the forefront of this movement. This paper seeks to contribute to this ongoing discourse through the description of the nature of African poverty, the comparison of African perceptions of poverty in the past as they relate to the present, the consideration of factors militating against African growth, and the presentation of a Biblical framework for developing a new Africa. Through the historical-critical method, the paper revealed that African history demands that a new generation of African leaders detach themselves from the failed cultures and policies of the past and engage in the global struggle to eradicate poverty. Only when Africa becomes a model for prosperity and dignity can it be acknowledged that a new Africa has emerged to take her place at the forefront of global progress and development. Finally, the paper recommends that Africa accept, recognise and identify her challenges and seek solutions from within; leadership development has to be prioritised; trustworthy, visionary, and God-fearing leaders be given opportunities; the need for electoral processes to be open and accommodating for everyone.