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.
The purpose of this synthesis is to provide a review of recent research on income and non-income inequality within countries in sub-Saharan Africa by African research institutions. This includes research conducted by both national and regional institutions and by international agencies in the African region. The review is to be used as a basis for an inter-regional synthesis of work on inequality by Southern institutions, which will in turn identify the gaps in the existing body of work to be addressed in future work. It will also be used to identify Southern institutions working on inequality that can contribute to policy development.