FEEM Lecture on “Growth and Poverty Reduction in Africa”, by Francisco H. G. Ferreira (World Bank)
After two ‘lost decades’ from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, Africa’s economic growth has resumed in the last twenty years. In the last decade in particular, GDP growth in the region has averaged 5.1%, making it the second fastest-growing region in the world, after East Asia. Yet, with approximately 49% of Africans still living below $1.25 per person per day, this growth is not translating into poverty reduction as effectively as anyone would like. This FEEM lecture will investigate possible reasons for the ‘broken link’ between Africa’s growth and poverty reduction, exploring demographic factors, the sector composition of the growth process, the role of natural resources and conflict, and the importance of inequality. Possible policy directions to harness the power of growth for faster poverty reduction will also be discussed.