By Linnet Kalenda*
According to the World Bank, Most developing countries use inadequate and out of date data about their poverty situations. However if they have to meet the needs of the poor people, good and sufficient data about who lives where and what their needs are, is not a choice but a must do. We need good data to accurately identify the most 20th percentile Median 80th percentile $2.77 $1.42 $3.55 $7.13 $0.80 $1.36 Income per day (2005 PPP$) 1990 1993 1996 1999 2002 2005 2008 2011 Source: Development Initiatives based on Povcalnet Notes. The understanding of global poverty today is not based on direct knowledge of poor people, where they live and their situation, but on surveys that rely on a long chain of transformations and assumptions to derive estimates of the level, depth and distribution of poverty. Given this context, African nations need to take the initiative of coming up with a process of data collection both quantitatively and qualitatively. Specific focus should be to collect data about the lifestyle of poor people in rural/remote underdeveloped regions and what their priorities are.
With this data, the local and national governments, need to analyze and find out how environmental vulnerability can be overcome, with a focus on the poorest people. National development can help reduce poverty, but the resources cannot be enough to reach the poorest people .Consequently, resources should be mobilized from across the public and private sectors for investments in remote areas which can help distribute the benefits of economic growth to the poorest people and improve access to services.
Another challenge to the poorest regions is lack of education, skills and knowledge about their own economic empowerment. Having been born and brought up in a rural poor community, I understand the potential that lies with the people in terms of agriculture and Small enterprises as well as skill development but they don’t have the knowledge. Change as they say is inevitable and it begins with us, hence we must be ready to walk the talk. In addition, awareness should be created to citizens to demand for action from their government and national institutions to improve access to sustainable livelihoods as their rights.
Africa has a great potential for growth which has not been fully explored and it is this gap that should awaken us to push for investment ideas in Agriculture, Oil and gas, Technology and tourism just to mention a few. Actors across the official, commercial and private spheres perform different functions and invest resources for different reasons. All can contribute to the goal of ending poverty, though they impact people in poverty in different ways to different degrees and over different timelines. To end poverty by 2030 in Africa, we must create an environment at global, national and local levels that leverages the comparative advantage of each investment and resource. Official resources at the domestic and international level are particularly important because they can be targeted directly towards the investments needed to reduce poverty. Unfortunately there are least domestic resources in the countries where the challenge of ending poverty is greatest. Therefore, development assistance will remain critical for countries with the greatest depth of poverty and the least domestic public resources. International commercial and private resource flows to developing countries are growing rapidly, but remain primarily concentrated in a few larger emerging markets. Data on resource flows particularly disaggregated data that describes context below the national level must improve if we are to understand how different resources can be used to benefit people in poverty. Achieving the end of extreme poverty by 2030 requires a diverse mix of resources that offer the world’s poorest people improved access to services, greater economic opportunity and strengthened resilience against shocks.
With these kind of arrangements I am positive that the three priorities of the World Bank to achieve the goal of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity will be realized and we will all be happy nations.Director of
*ISTICHARIA-Africa Office – AFIO