Economic Growth in Africa, higher poverty rates, and Rwanda's fair re-distribution policies

January 14, 2015

Africa's rapid economic growth amidst biting poverty is therefore a result of concentration of resources in areas that although important for economic growth, they do not have a quick multiplier effect on the bigger part of the population.
That is why Rwanda's anti-poverty interventions such as one cow per poor family, support to families to build decent shelter and get rid of nyakasi (thatched huts) has had measurable reduction in poverty with additional over one million Rwanda's emerging out of poverty.
With the national development budget that seeks to directly address the needs of the people such as access to clean water, good health and education, the number of Rwandans living below the poverty line will only continue to decline.
It suffices to note that while investment in infrastructure can stimulate higher growth; this can only be possible with direct equal investment in the sectors from which growth is to be expected.
For example, while a good road is needed to ease movement of farm produce to markets in urban areas, that good road will not result in higher maize yield when rains fail. Only water can, through irrigation.
That is why recent announcement of a plan to invest Rwf80 billion in irrigation, watershed management and adding value to agriculture produce is a good idea that will add momentum to poverty reduction. This is because the money will be invested in a sector that employs the rural poor.

 

Edward Ojulu, "Africa: Economic Projections in the Eyes of the World Bank," All Africa, 3 November 2013, http://m.allafrica.com/stories/201311030020.html/
[verified 4/15/14]

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