The robust economic growth in Africa over the last 15 years has not significantly helped to reduce social and economic inequalities on the continent. Poverty in Africa since 1990 has declined much more slowly than other regions in the world. The poverty headcount ratio declined from 54.3 percent in 1990 to 41 percent in 2013. Africa is currently identified as the world’s second most inequitable region after Latin America and the Caribbean which may explain the slow rate of poverty reduction on the continent as high inequality hampers the poverty-reducing effects of growth.
Furthermore, there are large differences in access and opportunities to education, health care, employment and productive assets; and wealth inequalities are still transmitted across generations, perpetrating the disparities and trapping large pockets of society in poverty and exclusion. Addressing inequality in all its forms is a social imperative and a necessity for sustainable and equitable growth in Africa. Both the 2030 Agenda and the African Union Agenda 2063 strongly emphasizes inclusive and equitable development in Africa.
With this a backdrop, Social Development Policy Division (SDPD) is organizing an Expert Group Meeting and Policy Forum to explore the interlinkages among the issues of poverty, inequality and jobs in Africa and examine the policy landscape on inequality in Africa, discuss policy options, and propose strategies to address inequality in national plans and strategies among others.
This will allow improved understanding and consensus among participants on how to integrate equity-related policies in national plans and strengthened capacities of stakeholders to support suitable policies and design and implement innovative strategies for leveraging the employment, poverty and inequality for inclusive development.