Inequality in Southern Africa

The Southern African region is characterised by unacceptable high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality. In many cases, poverty and inequality are on the increase, particularly in countries in crisis such as Zimbabwe and Swaziland. Neither agricultural economies such as Malawi nor resource-rich countries such as Namibia, South Africa and Angola have been able to significantly reduce wealth gaps and the rates of poverty and unemployment.


Inequality in Southern Africa

The Southern African region is characterised by unacceptable high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality. In many cases, poverty and inequality are on the increase, particularly in countries in crisis such as Zimbabwe and Swaziland. Neither agricultural economies such as Malawi nor resource-rich countries such as Namibia, South Africa and Angola have been able to significantly reduce wealth gaps and the rates of poverty and unemployment. Most SADC countries managed to achieve some progress in the period immediately after independence, usually through expanded social services, to reach the majority of the population which had been deliberately neglected under colonial rule. However, there was no systematic transformation of economic structures, and the typical African enclave economy persists until today. This enclave economy which is typically characterised by a relatively small and well-resourced formal sector that operates in isolation from a large, growing and poverty-stricken informal economy and the communal subsistence economy.

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