This article describes the various domains in which inequality manifests itself in Tanzania. It outlines the key drivers of inequalities as including wide income gaps, unemployment and a collusion between political and businesses elites that creates political capture and patronage, thus fueling corruption and diverting resources from essential services. The article points out a correlation between access to education and income inequality, and highlights the fact that, despite marginal reduction in poverty, inequality is on the rise.
For the past two decades the degree of inequality in Uganda has been variable, mostly on the increase. By 2009, the country’s richest 10 percent earned 2.3 times more than the poorest 40 percent. While some progress may have been made in reducing income poverty during this same period, existing figures mask a lot of poverty dynamics and characteristics. With a very low poverty line an erroneous picture is given on the extent of deprivation. Second, the distribution of consumption in Uganda is very flat, implying that many households that are presumed to have ‘escaped’ poverty have a very high level of vulnerability.
Income inequality especially remains high in South Africa. This article investigates the impact of macro-economic, institutional and structural factors on inequality across the nine provinces of South Africa. Using a panel data econometric technique, the determinants/ drivers of inequalities are estimated. The rate of openness (globalization) of an economy, the level of financial inclusion, the status of physical infrastructure, governance indicators, and socioeconomic and institutional factors are explored as explanatory variables. The article concludes with a presentation of the challenges and policy options required to address social and economic inequalities in South Africa.
This article analyzes the key domains of inequalities in Senegal. It underscores the high level of gender disparity in the distribution of unemployment that disproportionately affects women. A relatively efficient education system is nevertheless undermined by large geographically defined access differentials. In terms of infrastructure, the capital Dakar enjoys better access to transportation, schools and health facilities in comparison with rural and other urban zones. Agriculture and informal trade are crucial for reducing youth unemployment
This article highlights that the persistent high levels of poverty and inequality are being mainly propelled by the structure of the Nigerian economy and the inability of annual public expenditure, despite its large size, to guarantee improved access to functional facilities and social services. It also illustrates how the emerging structural transformation, led by the services sector, needs to be consolidated and properly managed in order to promote sustainable development, including the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequality.
This article highlights the nature, domains and responses to inequalities in Kenya in the context of the current socio-economic and political transformational processes shaping the country’s destiny. It describes the character and drivers of inequalities and analyses the political, policy, programmatic and constitutional measures that have been instituted to address them. It also highlights lessons learnt and challenges in addressing inequalities while sketching their possible resolution.
This article analyzes forms, structure, drivers and Implications of inequalities in Ghana; examines its political economy and suggests remedial policy options and challenges. Regarding economic inequalities, it shows that despite a general reduction in the incidence of income poverty, its depth has increased: with a wider income distribution gap between the poorest and richest households; marked disparities between the well-endowed South and the impoverished North; and a gendered bias in the distribution of wealth assets. Overall, the non-diversified nature of Ghana’s recent rapid growth has not boosted employment or reduced inequalities.
This article looks at gendered asset inequalities in Africa. It shows that women have lower access to land; pursue largely informal and smaller entrepreneurial activities that pay less and have low value addition; have lower access to formal finance; and, have lower political capital. To close the gendered asset gap, there is need for: reform of land and financial laws; entrepreneurial training for women; affirmative action in key areas such as education and employment; special funds/programmes for women; and, use of quotas to enhance political participation by women.
This paper reviews recent research on income and non-income inequalities within countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It concentrates on research conducted by national and regional institutions and by international agencies in the region. Research on income inequality in Africa is a recent phenomenon. Most studies began in the early 1990s, with the increased availability of household budget surveys for countries in the region. The advent of PRSPs and MDGs, which moved the debate towards issues of pro-poor growth, also required discussion on the nature and trends of income inequality. Another reason was the lessons coming from a number of countries that although growth may be necessary, it was not sufficient to reduce poverty.
Since the election of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) government in 1991, the Zambian authorities have implemented sweeping economic reforms. In addition to undertaking a sharp stabilisation programme early in the decade, the government have implemented reforms in agricultural marketing, a large privatisation programme, sweeping trade policy reforms and, more recently, public sector reform. The implementation of stabilisation and structural reforms in any country can have a major impact upon poverty and inequality. In order to obtain an accurate view of these effects, it is necessary to have nationally representative household survey data from both before and after the reform episode. Fortunately, there were four such surveys in Zambia during the 1990s ñ the first in 1991 coincided with the election of the new government, and further surveys were conducted in 1993, 1996 and 1998. This paper reanalyses the household survey data from three of these surveys in order to chart the evolution of poverty and inequality during the 1990s. In addition, the economic policies pursued during the 1990s are described in detail, enabling linkages to be drawn between the policies implemented and the observed changes in poverty and inequality.