Why Poverty reduction in Africa is too slow

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By Robert Mugabe

Despite the remarkable progress in fighting poverty, Africa still lags behind other regions of the world. According to the recent report by African Development Bank (AfDB), Sub-Saharan Africa is not on track to achieve its regional target of reducing the percent of the people living in extreme poverty to 29% by 2015.

Many of the gains realised at the beginning of the previous decade have been off set or reserved, mainly on the account of the global financial crisis and hikes on the world food and fuel prices.

Moreover, the wide disparities in poverty between Africa countries are equally of great concern.

For instance, Although Morocco, Gambia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ethiopia and Ghana have made a significant progress toward poverty reduction; other countries such as Cote de Voir and Nigeria have experienced increase in the level of extreme poverty.

Among many, there are three main contributing factors to why poverty reduction slowed in Africa. First, increase in GDP growth, whilst robust in historical term, were not enough to stand out as significant dents of poverty. According to United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Africa would need to by an annual average of at least 7% in order to meet Millennium Development Goals commonly known as MDG’s of reducing poverty by a half by 2015.

In contrast, Africa experience Average Annual growth rate of 5.3% throughout the period 2001-2009 and only handful countries recorded Growth Domestic Products [GDP] growth rate of more than 7%.

Second, the link between poverty reduction and economic growth was weaker in Africa than in other regions of the world. The elasticity between growth and poverty was equal to -1.7 for Africa continent compare with -2.0 and -3.1 for south and Latin America and the Caribbean, respectively.

However, studies caution using of constant elasticities to estimate growth to achieve, for instance MDG’s Milestones.

Three, Persistent in equalities may impend the responsiveness of poverty to economic growth, According to Prof. MTHURI NCUBE the chief economist and vice-President of African Development Bank, evidence based on elasticity calculations showed that compared to regions of the world, Inequalities in Africa significantly dwarfed the beneficial impact of the continent economic growth, and reducing income disabilities will enhance the responsiveness of poverty to economic growth.

In Africa the population of people living below poverty line decreased to 40% in 2008 from 47% in 1990 Making it the first ever reversal of the long term trend.

However, between 1990-2008, the average rate of decline in the level of poverty head count of Africa was nearly twice or three times lower at 9% relative to Asia’s 15% and Latin America 24%.

This post has already been read 9494 times!



  1. muagaga

    September 14, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    why poverty is slower in families of abashigajwe inyuma namateka

  2. muganga

    September 14, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    why poverty reduction is very slowe in families of abashigajwe inyuma namateka in rwanda

    • editor

      September 15, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      Dear Muganga, we are following the story

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