n African Human Rights Law Journal - Poverty reduction strategies and the rights to health and housing : the Malawian and Ugandan experiences

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



This article examines the poverty reduction strategies of Malawi and Uganda, namely, the Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2002) and the Uganda Poverty Eradication Action Plan (1997). This is done with a view to assessing the extent to which these strategies act as tools towards the progressive realisation of the rights to health and housing in the two countries. The article provides this analysis from a human rights-based approach. The paper argues that the poverty reduction strategies of the two countries under examination are seriously lacking from a rights- based perspective as they fail to address these two rights sufficiently. They even fall short of recognising health and housing as human rights. Against the backdrop of the overarching economic policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the paper demonstrates how these strategies address the issue of poverty reduction as mere programmatic rather than a human rights issue, and largely directed by the dictates of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The result is that, notwithstanding some levels of popular participation in their drafting, particularly evident in the case of Uganda, the countries under study cannot assume full ownership of their strategies and this undermines the basic ethos behind the principle of national sovereignty and the right to self-determination.

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