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Submitted by Raymond Jatta on
Amazing how studies can be confirmed?. The linkage between ecnomic growth and poverty is not very strong in Africa. The statistical problem is just one. 1. I strongly agree that our understading and measurement of these two phenomina is not clear and robust. How much production goes around in Africa that is not captured in the national accounts. How many financail transactions go through informal exchange without also being capture. If we contract so much loans, how much does this immedtaley affect our figures of GDP just the very minute these loans are recorded. GDP measurement of Economic growth is not complete in itself. Measurement of poverty is even worse. From getting conceptaul clarity about poverty, being consistent in this definition, colleting and analyis of poverty data etc, the situation is unclear and lead to varying results. In the Gambia for example, poverty figures show wide disparity between poverty surveys as a results of inconsistencies in understanding and methodology. You cannot use the figures to carry out any meaningful analysis. The same too is true of countries like Bukina Faso where one study in the same year shows an increase in poverty when the other shows a decrease in poverty. How then can you use two uncertaintities to establish a conclusion. therefore it is not only a tradegy but an unrelable situation. In my study of the relationship between economic growth and poverty in The Gambia, it was observed that with more than 30 years of economic growth, backed with poverty focussed national development plan, the poverty rate has increased. Why? Beside the problem of statistics, the answers to this are many. If i am sure of anything, it is this. That in a country like the Gambia, any increase in the performance of agric (eg. an increase in the share of Agric's contribution to GDP during periods of real GDP growth) leads to reduction in poverty level. i think investment in Agriculture is the answer for Africa. It has been observed by other researchers that no coutry except for two has developed in the absence of Agricultural growth. I think Mali is showing the seeds