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Poverty

L’Afrique est en plein essor ! Mais le sort des Africains s’est-il amélioré ?

Kathleen Beegle's picture
Also available in: English

Cette brève synthèse du rapport Poverty in a Rising Africa sert d’introduction à une série de billets qui reviennent sur les conclusions du rapport en détail. Le prochain billet, qui sera publié le lundi 21 décembre, analysera plus en profondeur les défis que pose l’amélioration des données relatives à la pauvreté en Afrique.

L’essor de l’Afrique, d’Accra à Addis-Abeba en passant par Luanda, est indiscutable. Centres commerciaux, gratte-ciels, et classe moyenne urbaine sont désormais monnaie courante dans les villes africaines, après deux décennies de croissance économique sans précédent. Ce sont des formules comme « Africa can » ou « le siècle africain » qui servent aujourd’hui à caractériser cette région du monde.  
Pourtant, une question reste sans réponse : dans quelle mesure la vie des Africains s’est-elle améliorée ? Comme nous l’a répété à l’envi un chauffeur de taxi à Accra : « la croissance, ça ne se mange pas ! ». Et, hélas, nous ne disposons guère de données systématiques sur ce sujet qui pourraient éclairer notre chauffeur de taxi.  

Africa is rising! But are people better off?

Kathleen Beegle's picture
Also available in: Français

This brief review of the key insights and focus of the Poverty in Rising Africa report serves to introduce a blog series elaborating on the findings. The next blog, to be posted on Monday, Dec. 21, will dig deeper in the challenges of improving Africa’s poverty data landscape.   

From Accra to Addis to Angola, Africa’s rise is undeniable. Shopping malls, high-rises and an urban middle class are now familiar features of Africa’s cities. Following two decades of unprecedented economic growth, “Africa Can” and “Africa’s 21st Century” have become the defining narratives for the region.

On the other hand, nagging questions remain about the extent to which Africa’s people’s lives have improved. As one taxi driver kept on telling us in Accra: “I can’t eat growth.” Unfortunately, there is little systematic evidence available to show our driver.

Terra Ranca! Um novo começo para a Guiné-Bissau

Marek Hanusch's picture
Also available in: English

@ Daniella Van Leggelo Padilla, World Bank Group
No día 25 de Março de 2015, a comunidade internacional reuniu-se em Bruxelas a fim de mobilizar recursos para a Guiné-Bissau, cujo governo e o povo guineense parecem prontos para um novo começo.

Terra Ranca! A fresh start for Guinea-Bissau

Marek Hanusch's picture
Also available in: Portuguese

@ Daniella Van Leggelo Padilla, World Bank Group

As international donors gather this week in Brussels to mobilize resources for Guinea-Bissau, the government and people of this West African nation appear ready for a fresh start.

The ten richest Africans own as much as the poorest half of the continent

Christoph Lakner's picture
In January 2014, Oxfam released a widely-cited briefing paper which argued that the richest 85 people in the world owned more than the poorest half of the population in 2013 (Oxfam, 2014).[1] In this blog post I estimate this statistic for Africa. The blog builds on background research for an upcoming flagship report “The State of Poverty and Inequality in Africa” led by the World Bank’s Africa Chief Economist Office.

Dividende démographique en Afrique : quelles retombées pour la croissance et la réduction de la pauvreté ?

S. Amer Ahmed's picture
Also available in: English
Total dependency ratio, 1950-2030
Taux de dépendance total, 1950-2030 *


Entre 1950 et 2014, la population africaine a progressé à un rythme annuel de 2,6 %, soit nettement plus vite que la moyenne mondiale, estimée à 1,7 % selon des données de projection des Nations Unies (a). Durant cette période, l’Afrique a connu une transition démographique : le taux de mortalité, auparavant très élevé, a reculé, tandis que le taux de fécondité, lui, est resté élevé. D’autres régions du monde, et surtout l’Asie de l’Est, ont su profiter de leur transition pour accélérer leur croissance et tirer parti du fameux « dividende démographique ». Au tour de l’Afrique de saisir cette opportunité !

How significant could Africa’s demographic dividend be for growth and poverty reduction?

S. Amer Ahmed's picture
Also available in: Français
Total dependency ratio, 1950-2030
Total dependency ratio, 1950-2030 *


Africa’s population grew at an average annual rate of 2.6 percent between 1950 and 2014, much faster than the global average of 1.7 percent as estimated from UN population projection data. During this time, the region experienced a demographic transition, moving from a period of high mortality and fertility rates to one of lower mortality, yet still high fertility rates. Other regions, most notably East Asia, took advantage of their transitions to accelerate growth, and reap a so-called ‘demographic dividend’. Africa is now being presented a similar opportunity.

Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa: “A historical perspective on land and labor”

Gareth Austin's picture
A Ghanaian carpenter shapes wood for a coffin in his workshop. ©Jonathan Ernst/World Bank

The inaugural Annual Bank Conference on Africa examined strategies for converting economic growth into poverty reduction. Taking an economic historian’s perspective, the prospects are complicated by long-term shifts in fundamental patterns, specifically from land abundance to land scarcity and, relatedly, from labor repression to landlessness as the principal source of poverty.

Looking at Poverty…Through the Eyes of a Child

Bekele Shiferaw's picture
Looking at Poverty…Through the Eyes of a Child  - Photo© Curt Carnemark / World Bank


“I am always hungry, as oftentimes my family and I skip meals. I want to go to school like my friends, but my parents always say it is too expensive. If I go to school, then I can’t work to help them buy food, and then I am hungry again. I am helpless when it comes to changing my situation, I have no voice and there are few people that see things the way I do.”

Measuring Poverty and Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa: Knowledge Gaps and Ways to Address them

Stephan Klasen's picture
Local children sit on a boulder overlooking the Kenyan slum of Kibera @Gates Foundation
Local children sit on a boulder overlooking the Kenyan slum of Kibera
​@Gates Foundation 



Despite hundreds of millions spent on more and better household surveys across Africa in recent decades, we only have a very rough idea about the levels and trends in income poverty and inequality in sub-Saharan Africa.  Many reasons contribute to this unfortunate state of affairs.

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