Due in March 2019.
Africa's turnaround over the past couple of decades has been dramatic. After many years in decline, the continent's economy picked up in the mid-1990s, expanding annually at a robust 4.5 percent per year on average into the early 2010s. People became healthier and better nourished, youngsters attended schools in much greater numbers, and the rate of poverty declined from 54 percent in 1990 to 41 percent in 2015. And the region has benefited from less conflict (although simmering in some countries and notwithstanding pressing numbers of displaced persons), an expansion of political and social freedoms, and progress in terms of legal status for women.
Despite these accomplishments, the poverty and shared prosperity challenges are daunting. Poverty rates in many African countries are the highest in the world and are forecasted to continue to be in double digits. Weaker economic growth in recent years has slowed down poverty reduction. And notably, the number of poor in Africa is rising (from 276 million in 1990 to 413 million in 2015), in part due to high population growth. From a global perspective, focused on eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, there is a shifting concentration of poverty from South Asia to Africa. Forecasts suggest that poverty will soon become a predominantly African phenomenon.
This report examines policy entry points on how to reduce poverty in Africa. It is the second of a two-part volume on poverty in Africa. The first report, entitled Poverty in a Rising Africa, was published in 2016. It reviews Africa's poverty status in its monetary and nonmonetary dimensions and its evolution since the early 1990s. There is a specific focus on data considerations. This second report focuses on how to accelerate poverty reduction, with an eye on the Sustainable Development Goal 1 of eradicating poverty by 2030. It draws on global historical experience in poverty reduction, as well as recent successes in Africa, and accounts for Africa's specific conditions and overarching global trends in shaping Africa's poverty reducing prospects. Its key entry point is increasing the earnings of the poor, and so focuses on their livelihood strategies and increasing the productivity of their assets, such as labor and land.