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Oxfam said forecasts predict a further 250 to 350 million people could be living in conditions of extreme poverty in the next 15 years. The human cost is felt the most by women‚ young people and children.
Oxfam said forecasts predict a further 250 to 350 million people could be living in conditions of extreme poverty in the next 15 years. The human cost is felt the most by women‚ young people and children.

African Leaders Told to Champion New Economic growth Models

It will not be enough for African leaders to continue looking at growth and how to keep that going. The problem is poverty and inequality. If those issues are not tackled, there will not be the growth they’re looking for

African Leaders Told to Champion New Economic growth Models

High levels of inequality across Africa have prevented much of the benefits of recent growth from reaching the continent’s poorest people. To combat inequality in Africa, political and business leaders have to shape a profoundly different type of economy.
It must start with the needs of Africa’s women and young people for good quality sustainable jobs, rather than the needs of the richest and of foreign investors. Leaders must use economic policy, taxation policy and social spending to build a human economy for Africa, Oxfam.org reported.
In the past two decades‚ Africa’s rich have benefited immensely from unprecedented economic growth‚ while there are more citizens living in poverty than ever before.
Social justice organization Oxfam on Tuesday released a new report titled “Starting with people”‚ which details the crisis facing Africa’s poor and issues a challenge to African leaders “to champion new economic models”.
 “New data reveals Africa’s inequality crisis is greater than feared‚” Oxfam said in a statement accompanying the release of the report‚ just a day before the World Economic Forum on Africa‚ which will be hosted in Durban from Wednesday to Friday.
“African leaders must build a new more ‘human economy’ to tackle inequality and poverty. The WEF will bring political and business leaders together from across the continent to discuss how to achieve inclusive growth.”
Oxfam‚ an international confederation of NGOs working with partners in 90 countries to end injustices that lead to poverty‚ said that new data from the Brookings Institute revealed that levels of inequality in a number of African countries are far higher than previously thought.
A growing population meant there were 50 million more people living in extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa in 2012 than in 1990‚ the report says.
“Seven of the 20 most unequal countries in the world are African: Swaziland is the world’s most unequal‚ now closely followed by Nigeria‚” the statement read.
“In South Africa‚ three billionaires own the same wealth as the poorest half of the population–around 28 million people. South Africa’s richest 1% owns 42% of the country’s social wealth. This is not a formula that can work to lift everybody else from poverty.”
Inequality Felling Poverty
According to Oxfam‚ “decades of record GDP growth have benefited a wealthy elite but left millions of ordinary Africans behind and as a consequence‚ poverty has declined more slowly in Africa than any other region”.
It said forecasts predict a further 250 to 350 million people could be living in conditions of extreme poverty in the next 15 years. The human cost is felt the most by women‚ young people and children.
“Inequality in Africa is fuelling poverty‚ fracturing our societies‚ and stifling the potential of millions of people‚” said Winnie Byanyima‚ executive director of Oxfam and co-chair of WEF Africa 2017.
“It will become a major drag on economic growth. Africa should stop imitating the failing policies of Europe and America and develop a new economic model that works for all Africans–not just the fortunate few.
She explains: “It will not be enough for leaders here to continue looking at growth and how to keep that going. The problem is poverty and inequality. If those issues are not tackled, there will not be the growth they’re looking for.”
 “African leaders must not kid themselves. If the wellbeing of people and the protection of the environment are our primary aims‚ rather than a hoped-for by-product of free markets‚ we need to explicitly design economies to achieve these things.”
The Oxfam report details plans how leaders in politics and business can utilize economic and tax policies to build economies that will alleviate poverty.
“Oxfam is not advocating a return to Africa’s economic past–we are championing economies that are fit for the future‚” said Byanyima.

 

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