There are a number of factors that give rise to this including definition bias, and the colonial history of the world.
- The terms "developed" and "development" arise from cultural values. This is called out by the UN Statistics Division in the small text below this (now deprecated) mapping tool:
There is no established convention for the designation of “developed” and “developing” countries or areas in the United Nations system.
To a certain extent, the term "developed" can be read to mean, "has followed an economic trajectory similar to European nations and their spin-offs." Forms of development that differ from that trajectory are not acknowledged by the definition, and so are excluded from consideration.
If we assume that this trajectory is the natural course of human social behavior, then we inquire why it has not happened in, essentially, non-white nations, leading us to:
- South America and Africa in particular, but also most other places on the globe, have been subject to early intervention by European powers which disrupted their 'natural' evolution. Those interventions caused significant loss of life, imposed extractive colonial policies, and imperial powers favored policies which led to the fracturing of communities into mutually opposed factions which gave rise to the civil strife we see in many of these regions, today.
Depending upon which scholars you favor, those extractive practices continue today, but in less explicit terms.
The cases of the United States, Canada, and Australia are particularly instructive here as in those cases, the aboriginal populations of those areas were exterminated, displaced, or otherwise removed from the land and replaced with settlers of European origins.
Arguments that there must be some other factor in play stray dangerously close to "African communities just aren't interested in technology" which is not only ahistorical and racist in the extreme, but also assumes that encounters with industrial technology happen in a vacuum. The violent nature of much of the interactions between European imperial powers and the territories they colonized undoubtedly played a major role in how the cultures on the receiving end of the violence viewed the means and paths that arguably led to them.