More than half of world’s poor in Africa – Economist

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Chief Economist, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Hanan Morsy, said Africa accounts for more than half of the world’s poor.

Morsy gave the figure on Monday at the 55th session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The official noted that the continent faced a tsunami of global shocks that have exacerbated existing socio-economic operation and equity.

“Africa, as a result of these shocks, currently accounts for more than half of the world’s poverty at 54.8 per cent,” the economist hinted.

Morsy said an estimated 548 million Africans lived in poverty in 2022, while 149 million more at risk of falling into poverty.

She observed a skewed distribution across the continent in terms of concentration of underlying issues, with East and West Africa having a higher share of poverty.

Morsy called for inclusive macroeconomic policies such as targeted and efficient spending, and resilience to future shocks at the household and community level.

The ECA chief, however, urged African governments to enhance resource mobilisation, including closing tax loopholes.

“Africa loses 40 to 60 billion dollars annually in tax evasion. There’s also funding that can be raised through tackling issues of illicit financial flows,’’ she said.

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