Analysis: South Africa is battling the curse of inequality. Inequality impacts profoundly on other key issues, exacerbating social ills, eroding community cohesion, fanning societal conflict and, for us, injects a sense of urgency into next year’s national elections.
While the quantitative studies on horizontal inequalities and violent conflict have contributed enormously towards establishing the relationship between these two concepts, the operationalization of horizontal inequalities in objective terms is to some extent problematic because people act on the basis of their perceptions of the world they live in, and these perceptions may differ substantially from the ‘objective’ reality. The question to what extent objective and subjective horizontal inequalities are consistent in practice is an important empirical question, which this paper explores in five African countries: Ghana, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya.
This year’s report at three of the most critical ingredients for transforming a promising economic upturn into a sustained recovery and lasting human development – jobs, justice and equity. The report highlights jobs because livelihoods play such a fundamental role in people’s life-chances – and because Africa urgently needs to create jobs for a growing youth population. It also highlights justice and equity because they are missing from the lives of too many Africans, making the present growth socially unsustainable.
High inequality in Africa is something of a paradox: The paper’s hypothesis is that African inequality is politically determined. Yet in the empirical analysis, despite the introduction of several political variables, there is still an inequality-increasing “Africa effect” linked to ethnic fractionalization.
This paper investigates the impact of migrant remittances on income inequality in African countries, using a panel of five eight-year non-overlapping windows for the period 1960-2006.
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.
This study explores the extent to which inequality affects the impact of income growth on the rates of poverty changes in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) compared to non-SSA, based on a global sample of 1977-2004 unbalanced panel data. For both regions and all three measures of poverty – headcount, gap and squared gap – the paper finds the impact of GDP growth on poverty reduction to be a decreasing function of initial inequality.
The paper proposes that reports of pervasive competition and conﬂict over land in sub-Saharan Africa belie a current image of negotiable and adaptive customary systems of landholding and land use but, instead, reveal processes of exclusion, deepening social divisions and class formation.
Drawing on large-sample surveys in five comparable Sub-Saharan African countries, the authors have produced a first-ever measurement of the inequality of opportunities in Africa, alongside inequalities in resources and living standards. The paper sets out to make a detailed analysis of five of these societies, focusing on inequalities of income and access to other resources required for economic activity, such as land, education and health. The aim of this essentially descriptive exercise is to make a certain number of observations regarding the level and structures of the inequalities. It is innovative in that it makes the first-ever comparative and controlled measurement of the extent of the intergenerational transmission of resources and its contribution to the observed inequalities.