Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Africa's inequality stifles growth, says report

Published:Wednesday | May 10, 2017 | 5:00 AM
In this March 11, 2017 file photo, a malnourished child is treated at the Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia.

JOHANNESBURG (AP):

Africa is experiencing higher levels of poverty than previously thought because decades of economic growth have only benefited a small wealthy elite, says a report released by the British aid group Oxfam at the World Economic Forum Africa which was held in South Africa's coastal city of Durban last week.

Inequality is rife in Africa, which has seven of the 20 most unequal countries in the world, and a further 250 to 350 million Africans could be living in extreme poverty within the next 15 years, the report says.

"Inequality in Africa is fuelling poverty, fracturing our societies and stifling the potential of millions of people," Winnie Byanyima, the co-chair of WEF Africa 2017, said.

"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," she said.

Swaziland is the world's most unequal country, closely followed by Nigeria and South Africa, where three billionaires own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the population around 28 million people, the report says.