News / Africa

Survey: Africa's Growing Economies Fail to Trickle Down

A mother carries her baby on her back in the Kangemi slum of Nairobi, Kenya on April 23, 2013.
A mother carries her baby on her back in the Kangemi slum of Nairobi, Kenya on April 23, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
— The African continent has some of the fastest growing economies in the world, but that growth is not translating into lower rates of poverty. 

A new survey by Afrobarometer, an independent research project that measures the social, political and economic atmosphere in Africa, shows that the majority of Africans are still deprived of the basics -- clean water, food, cooking fuel and medicine.
 
Afrobarometer says poverty levels have barely improved in the past decade despite an average five percent growth in gross domestic product in the same period. This, according to its latest public opinion survey conducted in 34 African countries between October 2011 and June 2013.
 
Some 76% of the more than 50,000 people surveyed reported that they had gone without cash income at least once in the previous year. Shortage of food and clean water also haunts the poor here with almost half saying they had gone without food or clean water once or several times in the past year. One out of every two Africans also struggled to get medical care.
 
Presenting its survey findings in Johannesburg this week, researchers said that while problems are most entrenched in East and West Africa, even countries with strong economies are not immune.
 
That should be a a wake-up call to governments where poverty levels have actually increased in South Africa and Botswana, said Robert Mattes, a professor at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

“Based on that one might say, with all the levels of growth that have been reported across the continent, with all the kind of intervention that donors have made to bring down poverty, that there has not been much to speak on in the areas of success," Mattes said.
 
Citizens of Togo, Burundi, Guinea, Niger and Senegal experience the highest levels of poverty, while people in Mauritius and Algeria report the lowest.
 
The Africans surveyed overwhelmingly failed their governments on economic management, with 69% dissatisfied with job creation and 76% not happy with efforts to narrow income gaps.
 
According to Afrobarometer, the survey suggests that either growth rates are not being accurately reported or economic growth is not trickling down.
Researchers recommend that the only way to reduce poverty levels is more investment in basic infrastructure, such as piped water and electricity along with education and accessible medical care.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: bruce from: raleigh
October 02, 2013 1:23 PM
the corruption is so great in the UN and local governments no amount of money will reach the people at the bottom.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid