Poverty on the Decline across Africa, Says World Bank

Charles Ayitey Apr 28, 2016 at 10:31am

April 28, 2016 at 10:31 am | Money Moves

Charles Ayitey

Charles Ayitey | Contributor

April 28, 2016 at 10:31 am | Money Moves

Photo: a-j-s.org.uk

A telling report by the World Bank has revealed that Africa’s poverty and inequality index has reduced dramatically since 1990 – a development which has centered discussions on the economic performance of the continent over the past few  decades.

The report, Poverty in a Rising Africa, reveals that the share of extreme poverty fell from 56 percent in 1990 to 43 percent in 2012 and predicts that economic prospects for the African continent will remain bright. In addition to fiscal computations, the study also considered literacy rates, increase in access to health care and rise in technological awareness among other indicators. The burgeoning rise of Africa’s population coupled with bouts of political violence has been listed as outcomes of poverty especially in the rural areas of the continent.

“The main messages which emerge from this effort to assess poverty in Africa are both encouraging and sobering. Although the data show that the share of the African population in extreme poverty did decline, major poverty challenges still remain, especially in light of the region’s rapid population growth,” World Bank program leader and co-author of the report, Kathleen Beegle reveals.

On cases of inequality, the World Bank report reveals that even though cases of inequality are not as high on the continent as elsewhere across the world,  Africa’s southern regions continue to experience bouts of economic disparity, especially among women and children. In fact, the household survey data shows a systematic decrease in inequality across countries in Africa with the number of  extremely wealthy Africans increasing. “Intergenerational mobility in education and occupation has improved, but remains low,” the report shows.

What this survey reveals is Africa’s economic prospects for a brighter and more prosperous future, supporting this statement made in a previous Face2Face Africa story:

It is a fact that Africa still has critical problems w:ith regards to political violence, sickness and disease, not to talk about the seeming threats of terrorism, but with the expansion of access to secondary school education, decline of malaria-related deaths by up to 35%, reduction in HIV infections by a whopping 74%; increased life expectancy of an estimated 15%, 

the continent continues to make strides year in and year out whenever indexes of macro economics and social justice are measured.

 

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