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Income Inequality Trends in sub-Saharan Africa

Divergence, Determinants, and Consequences

image of Income Inequality Trends in sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) recorded a remarkable economic performance in the first 15 years of the 21st century. Such an encouraging trend, which reversed the stagnation or decline of the prior 25 years, was accompanied by a perceptible, modest, but uneven decline in aggregate poverty, together with substantial cross-country variation in the poverty-reducing power of growth. This is reflected in, and partially driven by, the variation of inequality levels and trends among the African countries. Proper documentation of inequality levels and trends in the region therefore becomes essential in order to better understand the slow and varying rate of decline of poverty reduction in the region. To this end, this book, an outcome of a comprehensive study of income inequality in SSA, documents the initial conditions and changes in income inequality that have taken place in the region since the early 1990s. It proposes hypotheses to account for this experience and draws relevant lessons that could help accelerate reduction in income disparities.

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Inequality and growth in an agricultural-led development model: The case of Ethiopia over 1995-2011

Ethiopia is a landlocked, multi-ethnic and ecologically diverse country of 1.1 million square kilometres, with a population of 99 million people growing at 2.5 per cent a year (UNDESA, 2015). The country occupies much of the Horn of Africa, a drought-prone area frequently affected by food crisis. Despite these structural handicaps, between 2000 and 2011, Ethiopia recorded GDP growth of 8.0 per cent, 6.0 per cent growth in agriculture, a rapid increase in cereal production, stable and low inequality, and declining poverty (table 13.1).

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