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Sub-Saharan Africa income poverty rates to remain extremely high in the next ten years

Today, about 60 million people liv eon less than 1 US Dollar a day. There has been considerable progress in the fight against poverty in recent decades. The extreme income poverty rate fell from 36 per cent in 1990 to 8.6 per cent in 2018.

Despite this progress, the number of people living in extreme poverty globally is unacceptably high, and poverty reduction may not be fast enough to end extreme poverty 2030, as the Sustainable Development Goals demand. After decades of progress, poverty reduction is slowing. According to Human Development Report 2019, extreme poverty rates tend to be higher in low human development countries, but poor people can be found in countries at all levels of development.

While poverty rates have declined in all regions, progress has been uneven, and more than half of people in extreme poverty live in Sub-Saharan Africa, where absolute numbers of people living in poverty are increasing. If current trends continue, nearly 9 out of 10 people in extreme poverty will be in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2030.

The report underlined that income poverty is only one form of poverty. Those furthest behind suffer from overlapping deprivations, discriminatory social norms and lack of political empowerment. Risks and vulnerabilities only enhance the fragility of achievements- as explained in the United Nations Development Programme’s framework on Leaving No One Behind.

Among countries that are off track, most are in Africa and more than one third exhibit high levels of conflict or violence. The report said together they pose some of the world’s most severe development challenges, adding that they also share characteristics of low tax effort and low health and education spending. They are hampered by weak private sector development in the non-agricultural service sector and share a high dependence on natural resources.

Further, the report shared that increasing labour income is critical for those at the very bottom. Access to physical and financial assets is also important- land, capital and other inputs for production or services help as income-generating streams and buffers against shocks. Social protection in the form of non-contributory minimum payment, providing for the most vulnerable is important, the report indicated.

Human development progress involves the capacity to generate income and translate it into capabilities, including better health and education outcomes.  This process plays out throughout the lifecycle. The report underlined that each person’s development starts early- even before birth, with nutrition, cognitive development and education opportunities for infants and children. It continues with formal education, sexual health and safety from violence before entering the labour market. For the poorest people the lifecycle is an obstacle course that reinforces deprivations and exclusions.

Today, the report stressed, 70 people escape poverty every minute, but once most countries in Asia achieve the poverty target, the rate of poverty reduction is projected to slow to below 50 people per minute in 2020. The projected global poverty rate for 2030 ranges from 4.5 per cent or around 375 million people to almost 6 per cent with is equivalent to over 500 million people. Even the most optimistic projections show more than 300 million people living in extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2030.

According to benchmark scenario, 24 countries are on track to reach poverty target, with 207 million people expected to move out of poverty before 2030. In 40 off-track countries, even though poverty headcounts will fall, 131 million people are expected to remain in poverty by 2030. In 20 countries the number of people living in poverty is projected to increase from 242 million to 290 million. However, the benchmark scenario is a relatively optimistic view of future economic development, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The global Multidimensional Poverty Index MPI covers 101 countries, home to 77 per cent of the world’s population, or 5.7 billion people. Some 23 per cent of these people are multidimensionally poor. The MPI data illustrate the challenge of addressing overlapping deprivations: 83 per cent of all multidimensionally poor live in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, 67 per cent in middle income countries, 85 per cent in rural areas and 46 per cent in severe poverty.

Poor people in rural areas tend to have deprivations in both education and access to water, sanitation, electricity and housing. But the challenges extend to urban areas too: child mortality and malnutrition are more common in urban areas. The report said Sub-Saharan Africa has them most overlapping MPI deprivations- with more than half the populations of Burundi, Somalia and South Sudan experiencing severe multidimensional poverty, with 50 per cent or more of overlapping deprivations.

Furthermore, the report added that as countries develop, people tend to leave poverty, but the process is neither linear nor mechanic. It comprises both an upward motion and a risk of downward motion. The very definition of a middle-class threshold as a probability rather than an absolute line.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021
LAWRENCE-OOKEDITSE

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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