Macro and micro perspectives of growth and poverty in Africa

The paper reviews the trends in poverty, economic policies and growth in a sample of African countries
during the 1990s, drawing on the better household data now available. Overall, experiences have varied:
some countries have seen sharp falls in income poverty, while others have witnessed marked increases. In
some countries economic growth has in the aggregate been ‘pro-poor’, and in others not. But the
aggregate numbers hide systematic distributional effects. Taking both macro and micro perspectives of
growth and poverty in Africa, the paper draws four key conclusions. First, economic policy reforms
(improving macroeconomic balances and liberalizing markets) appear conducive to reductions in poverty.
Second, market connectedness is crucial to enable participation in the gains from economic growth. Some
regions and households by virtue of their sheer remoteness have been left behind when growth picks up…..Macro and micro perspectives of growth and poverty in Africa
Third, education and access to land emerge as key private endowments to help households benefit from
new economic opportunities. Finally, rainfall variations and ill health are found to have profound effects on poverty outcomes, underscoring the significance of social risk management in poverty reduction
strategies in Africa.

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