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Growth and poverty reduction in Africa in the last two decades: evidence from an AERC growth-poverty project and beyond

By Andy McKay


SubSaharan Africa has seen a return to good economic growth performance in the last 15 years, and especially in the last 5-10 years; as has been quite widely recognised, several factors have been important here, not just good performance of commodities. The World Bank’s global poverty statistics show a good reduction over the past 3 years, and two other studies have suggested that progress in poverty reduction associated with this growth has been impressive, but there has been no careful assessment of what household survey evidence says. This paper represents a first move in that direction. Focusing on carefully conducted studies of 11 countries undertaken by leading African researchers, guided by specialist international resource persons in the field, this paper synthesises what can be said about changes in monetary poverty using this evidence. In addition the paper examines evidence on non-monetary outcomes from Demographic and Health Surveys, which were conducted more than once in all countries. We find that poverty in both monetary and non-monetary terms has fallen in most countries, though to different extents in different countries. Some countries have been successful in many dimensions over an extended period, while in others the pattern is either much less positive or more mixed. Growth is probably only one factor behind the changes, and especially in relation to non-monetary poverty

Topics: HC0079.E5
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2013
OAI identifier:

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