Uganda has the least number of poor people in East Africa, according to a new report published by the World Bank and IMF.
By Francis Kagolo
Uganda has the least number of poor people in East Africa, according to a new report published by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Global Monitoring Report 2013 shows that Kenya, whose economy is much larger than that of Uganda, has more poor people.
This year’s poverty level scoring was based on the number of people living below $1.25 (about sh3,172) a day unlike previous studies, which considered $1 (about sh2,537).
Consequently, Uganda recorded a success story in the region with 38.01% poverty level compared to Kenya’s 43.37%.
Rwanda comes third with a poverty head count of 63.1%. Poverty levels are highest in Tanzania and Burundi at 67.87% and 81.32% respectively.
The study also considered the countries’ progress towards achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
Accordingly, Uganda appeared on a clear path to achieving Goal 1, which is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, specifically halving, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day.
Indeed, considering that the poverty level in sub-Saharan Africa stands at 48%, poverty in Uganda is below the average rate for sub-Saharan Africa by almost 10 percentage points.
Commenting on the report, Dr. Lawrence Bategeka of the Economic Policy Research Centre explained that although Kenya’s economy is the biggest in the region, the country has the highest level of income inequality.
The report also reiterates the old trend of poverty being located along a rural-urban spectrum, with the vast majority of the world’s 1.2 billion poor living in rural areas with less access to basic amenities than people living in urban centres.
It calls for complementary rural-urban development policies and actions by governments to facilitate a healthy move toward cities without short-changing rural areas.
The report noted that growth of town dwellers helps to reduce poverty and that urbanisation had played a significant role in achieving progress towards other MDGs globally.
Uganda has fewest poor people in E.A. - report