n Ubuntu : Journal of Conflict and Social Transformation - Elites, institutions and the politics of poverty in Africa note

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2078-760X
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4950


The world has increasingly become unequal, in spite of the rhetoric that globalisation and markets forces are pro-poor. African countries have suffered the worst economic inequalities from the twin forces of globalisation and liberal markets. Paradoxically the grim high levels of poverty and inequality exist side by side the abundance of natural resources that find their way off Africa's shores through illegal resource extraction, illicit outflows and corruption (see Le Billion, 2011; Nkurunziza, 2012). Equally disturbing is that for those few African countries like, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Angola, Senegal, just to mention a few, that have experienced high economic growth rates in the last 10 years or so, the gap between the 'haves and the have-nots' continues to widen. Africa's socio-economic inequalities, and poverty in general, have been explained by reference to exogenous factors like globalisation and liberalisation and its attendant unequal trade relations with the first World, among many other factors. Equally true is that internal factors peculiar to the continent have also had a contributory role in the increase in poverty levels and perpetuation of anti-poor policy trajectories.

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