Financing Africa's Future Growth and Development: Some Innovations
By Ernest Aryeetey | Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research | October 2, 2004
The main development challenge facing Africa now is how to reduce significantly the extent and depth of poverty in the region while transforming the structure of its economies. Making poverty reduction the focus of current development initiatives is justified by the extent and depth of poverty in the region and also by the fact that such poverty slows down all manner of social and economic progress. By the early 1990s, as many as 51% of the population of Africa lived below a poverty line of $34 per person per month. Throughout Africa, the current average income of each person has been estimated at 83 cents per day. Despite the significant variations among the different parts of the region, it is obvious that Africa will have to devote a significant chunk of its resources to fighting such humiliating poverty in the coming years if its peoples are to survive the growing demands of a rapidly changing world. In view of the state of poverty, the financing requirements of African nations are now largely determined on the basis of what it will take to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set for 2015. These goals include cutting in half the proportion of people living in extreme poverty, of those who are hungry, and of those who lack access to safe drinking water. They also include the achievement of universal primary education and gender equality in education; to accomplish a three-fourths decline in maternal mortality and a two-thirds decline in mortality among children under five. They finally include halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing special assistance to AIDS orphans, while improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers. Thus, in addition to the financing needs of individual poor nations, there is also the need to finance global public goods in achieving those goals.
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