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Market Brief - Poverty is on the Retreat in Africa


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 evidence1 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 (see Figure 1). 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%.

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