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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Growth has been high and widespread in the last decade in Africa. Whether this shift in Africa’s fortune has impacted poverty has been a subject of controversy. This chapter brings into focus recent evidence on the pace of poverty reduction in Africa and addresses the question of whether Africa is too poor to grow. The findings points to credible evidence that poverty has declined significantly since the 1990s but at a lesser speed than growth in per capita GDP. More importantly, global poverty tends to respond much more strongly to shifts in sector of employment, particularly to increase in employment in the industrial sector, than to increase in mean income. In Africa the closing of the gap in living standars between a large traditional and informal sector and a dynamic modern sector will remain the most effective way to achieve poverty reduction. Challenges of structural transformation and its attendant benefits are discussed using emerging thinking on industrial policies to achieve inclusive growth in Africa.

Keywords: economic growth, poverty traps, multidimensional poverty, structural transformation

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