But such basic causes are quite intractable and not easily eradicated. In most cases, the causes and effects of poverty interact, so that what makes people poor also creates conditions that keep them poor. Primary factors that may lead to poverty include (1) overpopulation, (2) the unequal distribution of resources in the world economy, (3) inability to meet high standards of living and costs of living, (4) inadequate education and employment opportunities, (5) environmental degradation, (6) certain economic and demographic trends, and (7) welfare incentives" ( Microsoft Encarta 2006 ).
Just like many third world countries, Africa is not exempted from incurring debts. Many western governments have made promises to either reduce or remove the massive burden of debt in Africa. Yet, in most African countries, the people still devote most of their land planting and producing cash crops to pay off these debts. However, the debt is so enormous that the possibility to pay the debt off is next to impossible. This creates a vicious cycle in Africa's economy, with the government and its people burrowed deeper into this situation.
The phenomenon of jobless economic growth that increases income inequalities and generates too few jobs for low income groups poses a serious threat to the well-being of many nations, both North and South. Government policies should consider not only aggregate economic impact but also the distribution of employment. Socially responsible venture capital and microcredit initiatives can foster employment-generating businesses that complement the local culture and environment.
.b. Rout out corruption, which harms society as a whole.
Corruption, both in government and business, places heavy cost on society. Businesses should enact, publicize and follow codes of conduct banning corruption on the part of their staff and directors. Citizens must demand greater transparency on the part of both government and the corporate sector and create reform movements where needed.
b. Broaden access to education and technology among marginalized groups, and especially among girls and women.
The educational attainment of women has strong bearing on the well-being of their families, and efforts to improve education for women and girls must be strengthened. At the same time, steps should be taken to ensure that the current revolution in information technology benefits marginalized groups. This must begin in school.
c. Improve government capacity to provide universal access to essential goods and services, including potable water, affordable food, primary health care, education, housing and other social services.
Governments around the world have made commitments to this through the 20/20 Initiative, which calls for 20% of national budgets and 20% of foreign aid to be spent on human services. But raising adequate