Africa: UN economic commission says growth not sufficient to cut poverty

Africa: UN economic commission says growth not sufficient to cut poverty

Africa will not reach the 7 per cent growth rate necessary to meet the international target of halving poverty by 2015, the United Nations said today, reporting the results of an expert group meeting which recommended that alternative options be explored to tackle poverty on the continent.

Meeting for the second time in Brussels, the African Learning Group on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers recommended finding new sources of growth in order to identify which sector has an impact on poverty reduction. "No amount of growth will reduce poverty if it only targets an increase in the average income without aiming at reducing income inequality," according to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), which established the Group.

Experts participating in the meeting stressed that poverty reduction strategies should be rendered more consistent. "Donors conditions have not decreased, reporting requirements of donors are not harmonized and donor funding remains unpredictable," the Group said, observing, however, that all concerned have shown a desire to change.