Barbara3135 Jesus told us "the poor would always be with us". He was in the middle east, almost a suburb of Africa. Had he further elaborated he could have explained that Africa would always be poor!
Academics would prefer the theoretical; empirical evidence is not sufficiently cerebral for their highly trained minds. But, I will plod along with my empirical case.
Africa, having been peopled longer than anywhere else on the globe would be expected to rate at the apex of human development. But, there is an exception to any rule and they have proved it.
The first thing woulsd notice is they did not develop the magnetic compass, sail to the new world, invent gun powder, or sail to other continents, colonize them and gather slaves.