Why are Africa and the Mid-East still Third World?
Humans first evolved in the Mid-East/Africa. People have lived there longer than anywhere else. Why are they still third world countries? It seems to me that with all the time they've been around there should have been some intellectual/progressive revolution, but that never seems to have taken place.
Well; the interesting thing is that the Third World is actually a majority of the world's population. Most of Asia, Africa, the Middle-East, and Middle/South America are controlled by "third world" countries.
The explanations are many, but no one theory has managed to capture the whole scope of the problem, the forces which conspired to keep a majority of the world's population in poverty and underdevelopment.
I won't go into why these regions are still behind in human development; I would like to point out the reasons why they have yet to develop into first world nations.
(not in order of importance)
1. Recent historic domination by imperial powers.
2. Constant interference by the current global powers in the internal affairs of these countries.
3. Climatic conditions which render entire nations desolate wastelands or areas with constant natural disasters.
4. AIDS and other diseases which are difficult for the first world to deal with, much less the third.
5. Global economic policies which favor certain first world nations, people, and companies over others.
6. Wars between third world nations and first world nations against third world nations.
7. Inability of Secular, Democratic, Socialist, and Communist thought to penetrate many of these societies. Third world nations that developed secular governments aimed at common social prosperity have seen their nations rise to the top of the third world heap (and an eventual rise into the first world)
8. Inability of regional alliances to develop that would protect third world nations from instability, internal wars, and wars with non-local third world and first world nations.
I can explain any of these if anyone would like. I can, of course, elaborate upon request.
The ecosystems in the area have a lot to do with why Africa and the Middle East are third world. Deserts and even savannas are not as easy for humans to populate as coniferous forests, etc. For example, one reason (of course not the only reason) why the North urbanized faster than the South was because the North had a cooler climate - it was too hot in most of the South for people to sit inside offices and buildings all day long. The South's cities did not really begin to blossom until the invention of the air conditioner.
In addition, politics also have a lot to do with them. Many African and Middle Eastern countries are politically unstable, deterring development. This is one reason why North Korea is largely third-world while just a hundred miles to the south, South Korea is bustling (they have far better internet and cellular service than we in the US do!).
Side: hot climates plus 'hot' politics
That's not true. Here are just two examples.
Egypt was a great empire. It was both technologically and economically advanced.
Ur was an ancient city in southern Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq), located near the mouth (at the time) of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers on the Persian Gulf and close to Eridu. It is considered to be one of the earliest known civilizations in world history.
According to one estimate, Ur was the largest city in the world from c. 2030 to 1980 BC. Its population was approximately 65,000.
So what happened to these great civilizations? The same thing that happens to all civilizations, they get conquered and sometimes they don't ever regain their old stature.
There was a time when the sun did not set on the British empire. That is no longer the case.
It's like that circle of life thing :).
Side: Empires come - Empires go