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Planting and nurturing the seeds of equity in Africa

Giovanni Cornia (), Ayodele Odusola, Haroon Bhorat () and Pedro Conceição

No 266951, UNDP Africa Research Discussion Papers from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Abstract: Sub-Saharan Africa has made a number of important improvements in the 15 years since the turn of the 20th century. GDP growth has accelerated after two and a half decades of stagnation, agricultural output has risen in some countries after a protracted decline, and internal and external macroeconomic equilibrium has been restored in much of the region. In addition, although difficult to define, democratic rule has spread across the region and, even more important, the number of conflicts was halved, although new episodes linked to violent extremism are occurring. The incidence of HIV/AIDS and its destabilising impact have declined slowly since the mid-2000s as a result of more extensive awareness campaigns and the increased supply of antiretrovirals. These and other health interventions, including action on malaria control, have led to a very rapid decline in the under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) and some improvements in overall health conditions. This has led to increased life expectancy at birth to 60 years for the region as a whole. Several other MDG targets were met, although less progress was achieved in reducing child malnutrition and maternal mortality. Furthermore, with the development of highly divisible technologies, the region has begun to catch up with other developing regions in the field of communications, internet banking, marketing and services. Finally, central to the topic of this book, over the last 20 years, inequality declined in more than half of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, several Asian countries (e.g. Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka), some economies in transition (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Montenegro) and OECD countries (Australia, Canada, France and United States of America) experienced an upturn in inequality.

Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; International Development; Public Economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-sea
Date: 2017-08-01
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