Skip to main content
Contribution to Book
Inclusive Growth in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence for six countries from the recent high-growth episode
Commodity Prices and Inclusive Growth in Low-Income Countries (2012)
  • Rodrigo Garcia-Verdu, International Monetary Fund
  • Abebe Aemro Selassie, International Monetary Fund
  • Alun Thomas, International Monetary Fund
This chapter focuses on the apparent disconnect between recent growth and poverty outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. Since the mid-1990s, many sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries have experienced a marked acceleration in economic growth. Whereas region-wide real GDP growth averaged some 2 1⁄4 percent between 1980 and 1995, since 1995 growth has averaged more than 5 1⁄2 percent and a higher still percent from 2000 to 2010. Progress on poverty reduction, however, looks to have been much more limited. Region-wide estimates, which are available only through 2005, show that the proportion of people living below the poverty line (US$1.25 a day purchasing-power parity [PPP] adjusted) declined only modestly from 59 percent in 1996 to 51 percent in 2005. This weak relationship between per capita growth and poverty reduction has prompted concern that the region’s recent high growth has not been sufficiently inclusive. This chapter uses case studies of six countries—Cameroon, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia— to address the following questions: Did output growth translate into higher living standards for the majority of the population in these countries? Has the incidence of growth been evenly distributed among the population, or have some groups been left out? What was the impact of the high-growth episode on employment creation? Are we measuring the growth of real GDP per capita accurately, or are we underestimating true growth, as suggested by a recent study by Young (2010)?
Publication Date
October, 2012
Rabah Arezki, Catherine A. Pattillo, Marc Quintyn, and Min Zhu
International Monetary Fund
Citation Information
Rodrigo Garcia-Verdu, Abebe Aemro Selassie and Alun Thomas. "Inclusive Growth in sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence for six countries from the recent high-growth episode" Washington DCCommodity Prices and Inclusive Growth in Low-Income Countries (2012)
Available at: