Sida Development Talks - Africa rising?

Poverty and growth in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sida Development Talks - Africa rising? Poverty and growth in Sub-Saharan Africa


On 22 April 2016 UNU-WIDER visits the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency to launch the new open access book Growth and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. Resulting from UNU-WIDER’s project on ’Reconciling Africa’s growth, poverty and inequality trends: growth and poverty’— the book provides a comprehensive re-examination of Africa’s growth, poverty and inequality trends. While the economic growth renaissance in sub-Saharan Africa is widely recognized, much less is known about progress in living conditions. This book comprehensively evaluates trends in living conditions in 16 major sub-Saharan African countries, corresponding to nearly 75% of the total population.

A presentation on the main findings of the book will be given by UNU-WIDER Director Finn Tarp and Professor Andy McKay. While monetary indicators improved in many countries, others are yet to succeed in channeling the benefits of economic growth into the pockets of the poor. Some countries experienced little economic growth and saw little material progress for the poor. At the same time, the large majority of countries have made impressive progress in key non-monetary indicators of wellbeing.

Overall, the African growth renaissance earns two cheers, but not three. While gains in macroeconomic and political stability are real, they are also fragile. Growth on a per capita basis is much better than in the 1980s and 1990s, yet not rapid compared with other developing regions. Importantly from a pan-African perspective, key economies—particularly Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa—are not among the better performers.

08:00 Registration and coffee
09:00 Introduction
Torbjörn Pettersson, Assistant Director General and Head of Africa Department, Sida 
09:15 Growth and Poverty Project
Findings of Africa’s growth, poverty and inequality trends, including more detailed findings from the Mozambique country study and questions from audience.
Finn Tarp, Director, UNU-WIDER
Andrew McKay, Professor, UNU-WIDER
09:55 Reality check Mozambique
How is poverty and development perceived among the people on the ground? Studies of development impact on local level in a province in Mozambique.
Inge Tvedten,  Senior researcher, Christian Michelsen Institute 
Minna Tuominnen, Senior researcher, COWI 
10:20 Coffee
10:40 Panel Discussion
Is this a complete picture of growth and poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa? Why does poverty sometimes increase despite a high growth? What are the bottle necks and what can be done?
Finn Tarp, Director, UNU-WIDER
Razia Kahn, Chief economist, Standard Charters
Inge Tvedten, Senior researcher, Christian Michelsen Institute
George Adu, Senior researcher, the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI)
Susanne Spets, Head of development cooperation at the Swedish embassy in Uganda.
11:30 End