May 12

3 Ways COVID-19 Could Actually Spark a Better Future for Africa

By Cesar Augusto Mba Abogo

In 1990, when Cameroon’s football team did the unthinkable and beat Argentina in the World Cup, the proportion of the world’s population living below the poverty line was 35.9%. Fast-forward 35 years to 2015, following a global adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this figure now stands at 10%.

To use the concept of a universal benevolent dictator – a classic assumption in beginner economic courses to escape the complexities of real-world decision-making – such a person would no doubt have said, “The world is doing infinitely better!”

On the contrary, the world has not been doing as well as it should. The fact is, there have been warning signs all along. The proportion of people living below the poverty line in sub-Saharan Africa in 2015 was an astonishing 41%, about the same as the global rate of extreme poverty in 1981.

Photo courtesy of USAID Ethiopia.

Source: World Economic Forum (link opens in a new window)

Coronavirus, Health Care
global development, poverty alleviation