This brief examines the problem of income inequality in Africa. Specifically, it addresses its trend and variations as well as the role of the African Development Bank in tackling it. Africa accounts for a large share of the world’s people living in absolute poverty.
Its share of the world’s poor rose from just below 20% to close to 25% (Kayizzi-Mugerwa, 2001). Nearly 50% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa lives on less than US$ 1 a day today: the world’s highest rate of extreme poverty in the world.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Somalia strives to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment in an effective and coherent manner across all programmes. The Country Programme Document for 2011–2015 provides a framework within which to implement the mandates of gender mainstreaming in the country programme overall and responds directly to the acute challenges faced by Somali women today. UNDP is tackling some of the most recurrent aspects of discrimination through strategic focus on the most vulnerable men,women, girls and boys, with the ultimate goal of contributing to the achievement of human development and gender equality. This Gender brief is designed to provide an overall picture on the situation of women in Somalia today and is meant to be used by UNDP staff,consultants and any other stakeholders looking for information on issues related to gender equality and women’s empowerment in Somalia.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has commissioned independent annual Human Development Reports (HDRs) since 1990 with the goal of putting people at the centre of development, going beyond income as a measure of assessing people’s longterm well-being. The HDRs messages and the tools to implement them have been embraced by governments and people around the developing world, as shown by the publication of many Regional and National Human Development Reports by more than 140 countries over the past two decades. This report is the first National HDR for Sudan and is the result of extensive consultations with leading scholars, government officials and development practitioners. The report examines the relationship between human development and conflict in Sudan. It shows that where conflict surges and thrives, among and within communities, human development suffers the most. And, where conflict is not the case, opportunities to expand human freedoms, obtain better educational opportunities, greater and equitable gender participation, improved infrastructure and better health services were realized. However, in Sudan, human development and conflict remain tied together. The Sudan Human Development Report takes aim at disentangling this complex relationship.
During the first decade of democracy in South Africa, the economy has recorded one of its longest periods of positive economic growth in the country’s history. One of the more vexing issues within the economic policy terrain in post-apartheid South Africa though, has been the impact of this consistently positive growth performance on social welfare, specifically income poverty and inequality. Many observers have highlighted the potential harmful consequences of persistently high levels of poverty and, particularly economic inequality, on the quality and sustainability of democracy (See for example Bermeo, 2009; Kapstein & Converse, 2008 and Wells & Krieckhaus, 2006). High levels of inequality have been linked to behaviours such as decreased voter turnout, depressed political engagement and high crime rates – all of which can have a negative impact on the quality of democracy. Increasing levels of income inequality also have the potential to divide citizens and contribute to social conflict. In such a situation, the diverse pressures on a government can lead to politicians resorting to surreptitious tactics such as “playing some voters off against each other” (Bermeo, 2009).
Following the referendum of January 2011, South Sudan became an independent country on July 9, 2011. The new government undoubtedly faces daunting challenges ahead in a context of complex social and economic problems at the back of weak institutions and lingering social tensions. Sudan is one of the few African countries where household surveys at a national level were not conducted for over three decades, at least since 1978. As a result, very little was known on the state of poverty,income distribution and labor markets.
This is Part 1 of a study, presented in three reports that detail the results of a poverty assessment and mapping project in North and Southern Sudan. The study’s objective was to produce a rural poverty analysis and poverty maps for North and Southern Sudan, and based on these findings, recommend agricultural interventions that can help reduce poverty. These findings provided an input to the IFAD Sudan Country Program 2007–2012, that takes into consideration the new constitutional changes in Sudan resulting from the peace agreements with South/East/West Sudan and to support peace, security and stability in Sudan.
Alongside human dignity and the advancement of human rights and freedoms, equality forms part of the very first founding provisions of South Africa as a constitutional democracy. It is listed in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (the Constitution), as part of the non-derogable rights, which prohibits the unfair discrimination on the basis of race, colour, ethnic or social origin, sex, religion or language. There are several conceptions of equality, the most important of which are broadly covered in the concepts of ‘formal equality’ and ‘substantive equality’. Formal equality refers to the basic idea that individuals in like situations should be treated alike. However, this overlooks the importance of context where there are individual differences.
The question of gender in education began to intrigue research and policy attention since last four decades. The interest ever since was to reduce gender disparity in education by promoting equal erudition of females with males. Despite the advocacy and some promising scenario, gender disparity in education is still continuing in favor of males in many countries of the world, particularly in Africa (Bunyi, 2004; FAWE, 2002). As such, the MDGs, “To
eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education [by] 2005 and in all levels by 2015”, would less likely be achieved. Therefore, the need for research is comprehensible. The low participation of girls in tertiary education in Africa is attributed to many factors which include social and structural impediments such as sexual harassment and gender-blind institutional structures and leadership (FAWE, 2002). Sexual harassment stands for
unwelcome and unwanted sexual behaviors which are judged by the recipient(s) to have resulted in mental, physical, and social discomfort and even interference with academic performance (FAWE, 2002).
Why are at least 25% of girls dropping out of university in Ethiopia (compared to 8% of boys), with the majority leaving university during the first year?
Assumption: Transition from secondary to tertiary level is a dramatic event characterized by discontinuity and transformation.
Hypothesis: Effective transition requires adaptive competencies that can be applied to the academic environment and Ethiopian girls are less equipped than boys as a result of their different life experiences.
Ethiopia is a fascinating country, full of potential, contrasts and challenges, with a Government that has shown a high level of commitment to overcoming its development challenges. Government partners are driving a holistic process of transformation which incorporates the voices of the poor and vulnerable at local level. The current five-year national development plan, the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) (2010/11–2014/15), envisages a major transformation of the national economy to focus on green and equitable growth while continuing to emphasize human development, women’s empowerment and governance. The Government is also focusing on the grassroots level and empowering regional and district authorities to generate appropriate responses to their own development constraints.
The UN in Ethiopia has voluntarily opted into the UN Delivering as One reform agenda to streamline its contributions to helping Ethiopia meet its development objectives. Our worldwide expertise in supporting development built up over the past 60 years, strengthened by the distinct added knowledge that each of our agencies brings to the table, positions us well to assist the Government in its transformation process. Furthermore, our close partnership with the Government makes for more sustainable support for Ethiopia as the country continues to make tremendous inroads towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, as well as its ambitious objectives for long-term development.