1 Colonization by European countries
Many African countries had powerful economies, but as colonizing started taking place, many of those countries became poor. The European dominance over Africa lasted for 400 years, from 1444 to 1885.
2 Transportation of enslaved Africans
When Europeans colonized Africa they transferred millions of skilled workers and sold them as slaves. This created a serious gap in the workforce in Africa and is believed to be one reason for the underdevelopment that followed.
3 Disruption of gold trade
As continuous raids happened by Europeans with the purpose of taking slave workers in African gold mines, Africans stopped mining gold to protect themselves. Gold was an important product in Africa and the economy got affected when this disruption happened.
4 Civil wars and political unrest
Africa went through a long phase of political unrest and civil wars. This impacted the economy of the country badly. (See How War Affects Economy?)
5 High levels of corruption
In many African countries such as Kenya, the level of corruption is very high. This level of corruption prevented many countries from developing.
6 The widespread of malaria
According to one study, the historical outbreak of malaria in Africa affected the GDP per capita. According to the study, the absence of malaria could have led to an increase in the GDP per capita to 1.6 of its current value.
7 Resource extraction by colonies
Many people think that the resource extraction processes by European countries have also affected the development of Africa in a bad way. (See Why is kenya still a developing country?)
8 Bad leadership
The bad leadership in most African nations has resulted in the underdevelopment of the continent. Many African leaders only focused on building their personal wealth without having any solid, long term vision.