Leveraging Social Inclusion to Reduce Poverty in Africa

Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Poverty has always been a pressing challenge in the global scene. Questions have remained unanswered as to how to nip this scourge in the bud, and with latest studies showing a progressive reduction in the global question, the African population still remains in extreme poverty. Of the 736 million people in the world living in extreme poverty, 389 million people in Africa live on less than US$ 1.90 a day in 2013. (Beegle et al. 2016, World Bank 2016).

It has become widely acceptable to define the poor by a headcount of those who fall below a certain income threshold, as illustrated by a compelling state of helplessness and over dependence. However, there remains a much more serious need to delineate it in a more multidimensional way such that it captures life expectancy, educational attainment, decent living standard and others. Further studies, therefore, show that poverty is more prevalent in young families with low ownership of assets and high dependency ratio. This implies that poverty is experienced for most part of an individual's life and often passed onto ones children.

Social inclusion matters, especially in the context of shared prosperity. Exclusion traces its roots back to various forms of active discrimination, directed against certain people based on their ethnicity religion, culture, race, sexuality, physical disability and educational achievements. Exclusion from political, social and economic institutions contributes to the vicious cycle that leads to low capabilities which adversely limits the potentials of people to escape poverty and horizontal inequalities.

The goal of social inclusion, therefore, is to ensure that individuals/groups participate fully in meaningful ways in the society - it questions why certain groups are overrepresented among the poor, and why some people lack access to basic amenities, including education.

Successful poverty reduction through social inclusion can be achieved by creating legal, policy and regulatory frameworks that ensures that socially excluded groups benefit from public expenditure as much as other groups; improving social, political and economic opportunities for all.

Read More:

  1. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/social-inclusion#1

  2. https://icer.ok.ubc.ca/clusters/equity/

  3. http://www.worldbank.org/en/region/afr/brief/macro-poverty-outlook-sub-saharan-africa

  4. http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/isp

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