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.
Rural poverty rates in Zambia have remained very high, at 80%, over the past decade and a half, whilst urban poverty rates have declined, from 49% in 1991 to 34% in 2006. Redressing this high rural poverty rate remains a government priority in the National Development Programs. However, solutions have proven elusive. Solid empirically based information on dynamics that have improved the welfare of small-scale farm households in Zambia, combined with an agenda for disseminating this information in public discourse, offer prospects for generating a more transparent and pro-poor policy orientation.
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.
Poverty is the most profound challenge that Zambia faces today. It is a social crisis with the majority of people denied a minimum decent living standard. The latest JCTR (2001) Monthly Food Basket Survey shows that it is becoming more and more difficult for the majority to meet basic needs, because food costs have been rising while wages remain static and too far below the food cost. The gravity of the situation is such that more and more lives are being lost due to hunger, sickness and disease including HIV/AIDS. But what is the definition of poverty?
The 10th annual SIRC/LuHAF conference on the Horn of Africa focused on the role of women in promoting peace and development, and set out to:Raise awareness of women’s needs and situation in the Horn of Africa, Raise awareness of Horn of African governments’ social service expenditures,Raise awareness of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 in a Horn of African context,Promote the inclusion of Horn of African women in the decision-making positions in their respective governments, as well as in regional and international organizations,Promote women’s (memberships) positions in governmental decision-making institutions,Promote the participation of Horn of African women in conflict prevention and resolution processes,Promote networking between Horn of African women’s peace organizations, and other stakeholders and Promote maintenance and protection of the due process of law and constitutionalism in the Horn of Africa
After decades of violence and instability, tentative progress is being made in Somalia to strengthen the country’s governance and democratic institutions. Yet one group in particular remains largely excluded – Somalia’s sizeable but unrecognized population of minority women. The double discrimination they face, both as minority members in Somalia’s hierarchical clan system and as women in a society dominated by men, risks leaving them sidelined, even if this progress is sustained.
UNDP Somalia strives to address gender equality and women’s empowerment in an effective and coherent manner. The Country Programme Document for 2011 to 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 attention to the most vulnerable men, women, girls and boys, with the ultimate goal of contributing to the achievement of human development and gender equality.
The EC Somalia Operations Unit in collaboration with Member States and Norway commissioned a comprehensive Country Gender Profile (CGP) as part of the preparation of its Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for Somalia in order to ensure that issues and challenges associated with gender are taken into account and mainstreamed in the programmes. The full CGP document, of which this is a brief summary, forms one of the CSP supporting documents.
The UNDP Country Office for Somalia (CO) has since 2010 been re-positioning itself for a more effective and coherent response to gender equality and women’s empowerment in its programmes. While CO programming to date has been informed by significant efforts to ensure gender sensitivity and gender responsiveness, the current move is to upscale to more gender transformative programming i.e. by addressing the causes of gender inequality through strategic actions that seek to transform the unequal power relations between men and women resulting in improved status of women and gender equality.