The Ghana Poverty and Inequality Report

Ghana is known for its stability, good governance and relatively well-developed institutional capacities that support the gradual achievement of human rights. Having experienced steadily increasing economic growth of over 7% per year on average since 2005, Ghana attained lower-middle income country status in 2010. Income from offshore oil reserves discovered in 2007 began to flow in 2011, creating double-digit growth for the year. Accompanying income growth has been a rapid reduction in monetary poverty from 51.7% in 1992 to 24.2% of the population by 2013, meaning that Ghana has achieved the MDG 1 target.

Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2016

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted unanimously at the United Nations by world Heads of States and Governments in September 2015 is highly ambitious. If taken seriously it has the potential to change the prevailing development paradigm by re-emphasizing the multidimensional and interrelated nature of sustainable development and its universal applicability.

Ensuring Economic Diversification works for Women

The creation of decent work1 opportunities for all is widely recognised as a key
strategy for helping to alleviate poverty, tackle inequality, and promote sustainable and inclusive growth. Diversifying and technologically upgrading developing countries’ economies are seen as key enablers of this ambition. Relatedly, achieving gender equality, including by recognising, reducing and redistributing women’s
disproportionate unpaid care work, is critical for ensuring women can access decent work and enjoy their full range of human rights. These issues are brought together under the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),2 which governments and the international community have committed to achieve by 2030, and which also reflect
existing, binding human and labour rights commitments.

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Industry in Tanzania: Performance, prospects, and public policy

Tanzania ranks among the leading stars of the ‘African growth miracle’. Since the turn of the century it has averaged 5–7 per cent annual growth of gross domestic product (GDP), an impressive track record but one that comes with a number of cautionary warnings. First, the increase in GDP is less striking when adjusted to take into account rapid population growth. Per capita GDP growth has averaged just 2.5–3.5 per cent per year over the same period, slightly above the average per capita growth rate for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole. Second, the Tanzanian economy has added fewer ‘good’ jobs—those paying decent wages and offering some security of employment—than would be expected from its overall growth performance. Third, Tanzania’s rapid economic growth has not translated into correspondingly rapid reductions in poverty.


Healthy Ageing: Raising Awareness of Inequalities, Determinants, and What Could Be Done to Improve Health Equity

Purpose of the Study: Social and scientific discourses on healthy aging and on health equity are increasingly available, yet from a global perspective limited conceptual and analytical work connecting both has been published. This review was done to inform the WHO World Report on Aging and Health and to inform and encourage further work addressing both healthy aging and equity. Design and Methods: We conducted an extensive literature review on the overlap between both topics, privileging publications from 2005 onward, from low-, middle-, and high-income countries. We also reviewed evidence generated around the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, applicable to aging and health across the life course.

Results: Based on data from 194 countries, we highlight differences in older adults’ health and consider three issues: First, multi- level factors that contribute to differences in healthy aging, across contexts; second, policies or potential entry points for action that could serve to reduce unfair differences (health inequities); and third, new research areas to address the cause of persistent inequities and gaps in evidence on what can be done to increase healthy aging and health equity.

Implications: Each of these areas warrant in depth analysis and synthesis, whereas this article presents an overview for further consideration and action.

A Comparative analysis of women’s land rights in Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa

The study sought to make a systematic and critical comparative analysis of the distribution of land between men and women in the three regions of Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa in order to establish if there was any discrimination against women using a gender approach (or analysis). In the study, the focus was on use rights in state-owned land or resettlement land and a critical evaluation on whether these rights were differentiated and distributed on the basis of sex. The study used archival data and document reviews. The analysis was based on farms or land acquired by governments and later redistributed to smallholder farmers. Studies in the three regions showed that women were considered a marginalized social group in land ownership although slightly better conditions were observed in Latin America. A majority of the studies blamed customary, religious and statutory laws but failed to estimate the relative importance of these variables in explaining the gendered pattern of land distribution. Women’s lower access to land in the three regions increased women’s economic dependency on men and consequently made them more vulnerable to socio- economic and environmental shocks.

Barriers Educators Face in Involving Fathers in the Education of their Children at the Foundation Phase

This study investigated the barriers that educators faced in involving fathers in the academic development of their children in the foundation phase education in South Africa. The study adopted the qualitative case study approach and followed the interpretivist paradigm to investigate the participants in their natural setting. The sample size comprised six educators who were purposively selected to respond to semi-structured interview questions. All ethical procedures were observed and respondents completed the consent forms. Data collected was thematically analyzed. The findings revealed that lack of knowledge, absent father syndrome, migrant labor, educational poverty and political will were the main barriers to father involvement. The study concluded that effective fathers’ participation in the education of their children is necessary to achieving the goals of early childhood education. The study recommends that programs should be tailor-made to suite all categories of fathers in order to encourage father participation regardless of their economic status.

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Healthcare Reform Priorities for South Africa: Four Essays on the Financing, Delivery and User Acceptability of healthcare

Despite expenditure levels on healthcare comparable to those of its upper-middle-income country peers, South Africa is achieving health outcomes that are comparable to those of low-income countries.

This dissertation contains four essays on the financing, user acceptability and delivery of healthcare in South Africa. The main contribution of the dissertation is to determine how the user acceptability of healthcare services influences not only health seeking behaviour in South Africa, but also influences the ability of healthcare services to impact health outcomes. Without sufficient focus on user acceptability, the success of the health system will be undermined by creating missed opportunities for the prevention, detection and treatment of disease.

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For Sustainable Funding and Fees, the Undergraduate System in South Africa Must be Restructured

One of the most vocal criticisms against the South African higher education system at the postgraduate (doctoral) level has been the charge of a lack of transformation. The term ‘transformation’ has become so ideologised that it has little research or policy value. Perhaps one of the most inappropriate ways to use transformation is as a static concept; for example, to demand that universities must reflect, 20 years after apartheid, the demographics of the current population. What we should learn from this charge of a lack of transformation at postgraduate level is that bad policies have long-lasting consequences and cannot be redressed or wished away in a decade or two.

Government Impartiality and Sustained Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

Many studies suggest that one of the main reasons for Africa’s dismal growth performance over most of the 20th century is its degree of ethnic fragmentation. Yet, there is still insufficient knowledge about whether ethnic diversity necessarily entails large economic costs, or whether the implications of diversity depend, inter alia, on the government’s approach toward the ethnic question. We note that economic growth tends to increase average incomes, but it also affects the income distribution. Then, if growth is accompanied by growing economic inequality, the perception of the impartiality of the government toward different ethnic groups is likely to be important for whether growth can be sustained, or whether sparks of growth will evaporate because of rising political divisions and internal conflicts. In this paper, we study whether the degree of ethnic impartiality in the government’s policies is related to the emergence of sustained growth in sub-Saharan Africa, irrespective of the actual content of the policies. We measure perceptions about the impartiality of the government with survey data from the Afrobarometer covering 20 countries starting in the late 1990 s. Our main definition of sustained growth is when there is a GDP per capita growth rate of at least 2% for at least five consecutive years. Our empirical results suggest that countries whose governments are perceived as impartial are more likely to experience sustained growth. We conclude that in order to ensure economic development, it is not only important to choose the ‘‘right” policies, but also to implement these policies in a fair manner.

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