Thursday, 1 May 2008

Are There Lessons for Africa from China's Success Against Poverty?

A recent World Bank working paper considers the differences and similarities between China and Africa and how the former managed to take millions out of poverty and the latter did not.

The key line for me from the abstract is in bold and is certainly not rocket science.

I have my doubts about the validity of the results in this paper but should read it first before jumping to conclusions.

Are There Lessons for Africa from China's Success Against Poverty?

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) January 1, 2008

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4463

At the outset of China's reform period, the country had a far higher poverty rate than for Africa as a whole. Within five years that was no longer true. This paper tries to explain how China escaped from a situation in which extreme poverty persisted due to failed and unpopular policies. While acknowledging that Africa faces constraints that China did not, and that context matters, two lessons stand out. The first is the importance of productivity growth in small holder agriculture, which will require both market-based incentives and public support. The second is the role played by strong leadership and a capable public administration at all levels of government.

Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction, Population Policies, Achieving Shared Growth, Services & Transfers to Poor

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