Taking action to reduce poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa by World Bank

By World Bank

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3 percent per capita a year. At that rate, per capita income will take half a century to doublea growth performance not even remotely adequate for meaningful poverty reduction. · Growth needs to benefit the poor more directly. How growth is distributed among sectors and regions is critical in determining which groups benefit from expanded employment and income-earning opportunities. Emphasizing growth in agriculture, remote poor regions, or urban slums could improve the extent to which various groups, including the poor, benefit.

In contrast, relatively high levels of inequality persist in many Sub-Saharan African countries, even those that have enjoyed solid growth and reductions in the average incidence of poverty. The importance of instituting a pattern of growth that benefits the poor in Sub-Saharan Africa is evident from the current high levels of inequality, the low levels of human capital development, and the meager assets available to the poor. Page 10 Changing the Pattern of Growth Although the evidence shows that economic growth is a powerful means of reducing poverty, not all patterns of growth have the same impact.

The response of the nationals may in some cases reflect the resentments of midlevel civil servants who feel they have borne most of the burden of implementing income redistribution following economic policy reform. Nonetheless, it is essential to the success of Bank programs that this perception by knowledgeable outsiders and staff changeand change rapidly. Not only should information on the positive impact of past actions be better disseminated, but future Bank activities should be designed and implemented to achieve greater reduction of poverty.

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