At the moment about 48 per cent of people are living below the poverty datum line which is at 1.25 US dollars per day.
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“A lot of effort is being put toward eliminating poverty in Africa. Many approaches are being embarked on [and among those efforts should be education, skills development and targeted social protection],” Mthuli Ncube, vice president of the African Development Bank told CNBC Africa on the side-lines of WEF Africa.
Ncube moaned about poverty levels in certain African countries adding that the levels were much higher in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
He noted that a lot of progress had been made in countries like Rwanda, South Africa and also in Nigeria.
“Africa will not meet the extreme poverty target and we have to maintain it beyond 2015 agenda and turn it into the 2030 agenda. The best Africa can do in 2030 is something like 26 per cent and this will require Africa to sustain its current growth in its per capita incomes,” Ncube said in reference to the 2015 Millennium Development Goal deadline.
“The key message we still need to maintain is the poverty target agenda post 2015 agenda,” he said.
“Inequality is one of the things holding back poverty reduction. Inequality has a way of slowing down growth and making sure distribution does not impact on the poor.”
He also added that, “We also need to deal with social protection targeting certain groups as to ensure that they stay out of poverty by investing in sectors like education as it is one of the key ways to avoid intergenerational transmission of poverty.”
“There are countries we need to target as to bring poverty levels down such as DRC, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. However, it will be more difficult and more fragile in post conflict countries.”
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Commenting on Nigeria’s recent GDP re-basing which saw the West African country becoming the biggest economy in Africa, Ncube said this would assist in attracting foreign direct investment.
“Re-basing does not make people better off, it is just a more accurate accounting of the reality on the group. It however, has some positive effects going forward as it makes investors to see the country as a powerhouse thereby attracting more foreign direct investments with portfolio flowing into the capital markets.”
There are at least 37 countries in Africa that need to re-base, with only 10 countries including Nigeria having complied with re-basing rules, which is every five years.
BY TRUST MATSILELE