AfDB: Championing inclusive growth across Africa. A blog by the former Chief Economist and Vice-President
For the past decade, Africa has had strong growth. A new economic momentum has been created. The continent weathered the financial crisis and has bounced back. But headline economic growth is not enough. Deliberate policies to reduce inequalities and promote inclusion are now needed more than ever before. It is time to focus on what people want: decent work, a living wage, access to basic service, more democracy and accountable governments. Africa and its people aim to be a pole of growth in the decades ahead. Read more
With the year 2015 – the MDG finishing line – approaching, post-2015 goals as they impact Africa need to be firmed. The goal of ending extreme poverty remains paramount. In this context, extreme poverty means living on a less than $1.25 a day (PPP, 2005 prices). Given the continent’s potential and the track record, the extreme poverty reduction agenda beyond the MDGs should focus on building prosperous and resilient Africa. This can be achieved with strong, sustained and inclusive growth.
State fragility and breakdown, along with violent conflict, pose significant risks to global and regional security. Most contemporary armed conflicts take place within states, and the majority of their victims are civilians. Conflict and fragility impede efforts to reduce poverty, and the prevention of conflict through development is cheaper than dealing with the aftermath of conflict.
Africa needs accelerated structural transformation in order to take the bulk of its population out of poverty. This requires deeper investment in factors leading to growth-enhancing structural change. African countries need to diversify and expand the sources of economic growth while creating opportunities for more inclusiveness.
Overcoming extreme poverty remains at the top of the development agenda in Africa and this commitment is paying off but at a slower pace. Recent evidence indicates that poverty in Africa and in all the regions of the world declined over the period 2005-2010. In Africa, the proportion of people living below the poverty line decreased to 40% in 2008 from 47% in 1990, making it the first ever reversal of the long term poverty trend. However, there are disparities in the rate of decline between Africa and other regions. For example, between 1990 and 2008, the average rate of decline in the poverty headcount for Africa was nearly twice and three times lower at 9% relative to Asia’s 15% and Latin America’s 24%.