Urbanisation

Africa to house 86% of the world’s poorest by 2050

Population growth in Africa is a major reason for high concentration of people living in extreme poverty, says a report

By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Wednesday 19 September 2018
Population growth
If the trend of population growth continues, the number of poor people in the world, which is currently falling, may rise. Credit:Wikipedia If the trend of population growth continues, the number of poor people in the world, which is currently falling, may rise. Credit:Wikipedia

The poorest places in the world, where leading a healthy and productive life is already very tough, are making more and more babies and, in turn, creating tougher living conditions for themselves, says the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s second Goalkeepers report. They also fear that if the trend continues, the number of poor people in world, which is currently falling, may rise.

While more than a billion people have been pulled out of poverty in the world, this success is not everyone’s. This change came first in China and then in India. Since Asia achieved most of the success, “extreme poverty is becoming heavily concentrated in sub-Saharan African countries”.

“By 2050, that’s where 86 percent of the extremely poor people in the world are projected to live,” says the report while suggesting that for the next three decades, the world’s top priority should be reducing poverty in Africa.

A major contributor is Africa’s rising population, which is projected to double by 2050. This means that even if the percentage of poor people is reduced to half, the number would be the same.

Even within Africa, there is good news and bad news. Good is that many countries are turning a corner, like Ethiopia, which was majorly struck by famine, will be able to eliminate poverty by 2050. Bad that poverty is concentrated in a handful of African countries. “By 2050, for example, more than 40 percent of the extremely poor people in the world will live in just two countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria. Even within these countries, poverty is concentrated in certain areas,” says the report.

The reasons for this high concentration of poverty are rooted in violence, political instability, gender inequality, severe climate change, and other deep-seated crises. That’s not all. Other possible causes are high rates of child mortality and malnutrition.

The Gate Foundation suggests that the best way out of this is continuing to improve human condition by “creating opportunities in Africa’s fastest growing and poorest countries”.

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