ZAMBIA has been listed among 10 of the world’s most unequal countries.
According to the Gini Coefficient Index (a standard measure of income equality), the 10 most unequal countries in the world are: South Africa (65), Namibia (61.3), Botswana (60.5), Zambia (57.5), Honduras (57.4), Central African Republic (56.3), Lesotho (54.2), Colombia (53.2), Brazil (52.7) and Guatemala (52.4).
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) said in its 2014 annual report released yesterday that for a continent which has consistently posted robust economic growth in the past decade, recent reports that the continent is the bastion of inequality recording 42.6 on the GNI is quite disturbing.
The GNI provides evidence suggesting that rich Africans, who account for less than five percent of the population, hold about 20 percent of total income while the poor who account for 60.8 percent of the population own 36.5 percent of the continent’s total income.
“Africa is the world’s most unequal continent after Latin America. Six of the 10 most unequal countries are in Africa,” the African Development AfDB said in its 2014 annual report released on Wednesday at its annual meetings in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
The AfDB acknowledges that while Africa has grown at an unprecedented pace in the past decade, the benefits of the economic resurgence have not been broadly shared.
“Instead, growth has been concentrated in particular sectors or geographical areas within countries, excluding large sections of people,” the AfDB says.
The AfDB argues that growth must be more inclusive in order to lift the majority of Africans out of poverty by creating employment opportunities through a better business and investment climate that enables the private sector to thrive; and connecting remote areas to growth poles through better infrastructure and deeper regional integration within countries and across national borders.
In addition, effective transformation of Africa’s natural wealth into created wealth, including building human capital and skills and addressing climate change to ensure a smooth transition towards an environmentally sustainable growth path, would further promote inclusive growth.
The AfDB defines inclusive growth as economic growth that results in a wider access to sustainable livelihood opportunities for a broader number of people, regions, or countries, while protecting the vulnerable, all in an environment of fairness, equity, and political plurality.
These concerns were addressed in the AfDB’s 2013-2022 10-year strategy which focuses on infrastructure development, regional economic integration, private sector development, governance and accountability, skills and technology as the main channels through which the ban will deliver its work and improve the quality of growth in Africa. It will also seek new and creative ways of mobilising resources to support Africa’s transformation, especially by leveraging its own resources.
Wider use of public-private partnerships, co-financing arrangements and risk-mitigation instruments will also attract investors.