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»Die afrikanischen Staaten benötigen dringend inklusive Wachstumsstrategien«

Oxfam-Bericht, 2.5.2017 (engl. Originalfassung)

High levels of inequality across Africa have prevented much of the benefits of recent growth from reaching the continent’s poorest people. To combat inequality in Africa, political and business leaders have to shape a profoundly different type of economy. It must start with the needs of Africa’s women and young people for good quality sustainable jobs, rather than the needs of the richest and of foreign investors. Leaders must use economic policy, taxation policy and social spending to build a human economy for Africa.

The issue of ‘inclusive growth’ will dominate discussions as leaders gather at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa this month. This is a double challenge. The IMF forecasts for sub-Saharan African growth are at their lowest level for 20 years. However, even when GDP was rising at impressive levels across the continent, it was far from inclusive. Despite decades of unprecedented growth, the proportion of populations living in poverty declined more slowly in Africa than in any other region. A growing population meant that there were 50 million more people living in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa in 2012 than there were in 1990.

At the same time, for the lucky few, these decades were boom years. Oxfam found in January that just three billionaires in South Africa have the same wealth as the bottom 50 percent of the population, while South Africa's richest one percent owns 42 percent of the country’s total wealth. If African leaders use this meeting to take stock and forge a different path, this could be an opportunity to shape fundamentally more equal economies. With youthful workforces that are increasingly educated and healthy, a long-term trend towards more democratic and stable governance, and room for vastly increased productivity in areas such as agriculture, there is much reason for hope.

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