Sub-Saharan Africa has little chance of significantly reducing poverty - World Bank
JOHANNESBURG - Sub-Saharan Africa has little or no chance of achieving the UN target of having not more than three percent of its population living in extreme poverty by 2030, the Daily Nation reported on Wednesday, citing a new World Bank report.
The rate of reduction is decelerating despite the dramatic decline of poverty in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) since the early 1990s.
Government statistics from 2015 showed that more than half of the 736 million poor people on the globe resided in SSA and more than 85 percent of the poor resided in either that region or South Asia.
Over half of the world’s extremely poor 368 million people live in just five countries: India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh, which also happen to be the most populous countries in South Asia and SSA.
Nigeria is expected to overtake India in terms of having the most people living in extreme poverty; that is, living on less than $1.90 a day.
“Simulations show that, as the number of the poor continues to decline in South Asia, the forecasts based on historical regional performance indicate that there will be no matching decline in poverty in sub-Saharan Africa,” the report says.
In Kenya, the number of people living in extreme poverty is 17.6 million, less than Tanzania (21.9 million) but more than Uganda (15.8 million).
Kenya’s position has improved among SSA countries as it is now described as lower middle-income. However, this has not reduced the gap between rich and poor.
By 2030 the World Bank says that the share of the global poor residing in sub-Saharan Africa will be about 87 percent “if economic growth over the next 12 years is similar to historical growth patterns".
Around three quarters of the 43 countries with poverty rates above the average of 18 percent are in sub-Saharan Africa, where average rates stand at 41 percent.
- African News Agency (ANA)