This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO licence. It is free to read at Oxford Scholarship Online and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations. While the economic growth renaissance in sub-Saharan Africa is widely recognized, much less is known about progress in living conditions. This book comprehensively evaluates trends in living conditions in 16 major sub-Saharan African countries,
corresponding to nearly 75% of the total population. A striking diversity of experience emerges. While monetary indicators improved in many countries, others are yet to succeed in channeling the benefits of economic growth into the pockets of the poor. Some countries experienced little economic growth, and
saw little material progress for the poor. At the same time, the large majority of countries have made impressive progress in key non-monetary indicators of wellbeing.
Overall, the African growth renaissance earns two cheers, but not three. While gains in macroeconomic and political stability are real, they are also fragile. Growth on a per capita basis is much better than in the 1980s and 1990s, yet not rapid compared with other developing regions. Importantly from a pan-African perspective, key economies-particularly Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa-are not among the better performers.
Looking forward, realistic expectations are required. The development process is, almost always, a long hard slog. Nevertheless, real and durable factors appear to be at play on the sub-continent with positive implications for growth and poverty reduction in future.
Channing Arndt has more than 20 years of experience in development economics with seven years combined resident experience in Morocco and Mozambique. He has published more than 55 articles in leading academic journals and has taken leadership roles in major policy documents such as the design of a carbon tax for the National Treasury of South Africa, the Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change for the World Bank, and the Second and Third National Poverty Assessments for the Government of Mozambique. His program of research has focused on agricultural development, poverty measurement, poverty alleviation and growth, market integration, gender and discrimination, the implications of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, technological change, trade policy, aid effectiveness, infrastructure investment, energy and biofuels, climate variability, and the implications of climate change. Andy McKay is Professor of Development Economics at the University of Sussex where he teaches masters and PhD students in different fields of development economics. He has recently become managing editor of the Review of Development Economics; and is closely associated with the African Economic Research Consortium as a resource person and as co-coordinator of their collaborative project on the growth-poverty nexus in Sub-Saharan Africa. He was associate director of the Chronic Poverty Research Centre from 2005-2011; he recently obtained research grants for two projects looking at female labour supply in relation to poverty reduction, much of this in Sub-Saharan Africa. Finn Tarp is Professor of Development Economics at the University of Copenhagen and Director of the UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER). He has more than 35 years of experience in academic and applied development economics, including 20 years of work in some 35 developing countries. He is a leading international expert on issues of development strategy and foreign aid and he was appointed to the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) advising the Chief Economist of the World Bank in 2013.
GROUP 1: RAPID GROWTH AND RAPID POVERTY REDUCTION; GROUP 2: RAPID GROWTH BUT LIMITED POVERTY REDUCTION; GROUP 3: UNINSPIRING/NEGATIVE GROWTH AND POVERTY REDUCTION; GROUP 4: LOW INFORMATION COUNTRIES