n AfricaGrowth Agenda - Poverty reduction in sub-Saharan African countries : in favour of a sound macroeconomic policy research

Volume 2013, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 1811-5187


During the past decades a number of macroeconomic policies have been implemented in many sub-Saharan Africa countries, in order to attain a sustained economic growth, reduce unemployment and alleviate poverty. However, poverty and unemployment are still ravaging many SSA countries' economies. Although this sluggish economic development can be partly attributed to civil wars and the political instability in these countries, inappropriate and misaligned macroeconomic policies during the post-independence era in some countries seem to have played a bigger role. In some instances, conflicting or incoherent policies have been unintentionally implemented in some SSA countries - thereby causing more harm than good. In other instances, economic polices have been oversold to SSA countries by donor agencies without necessarily considering the pre-conditions necessary for the successful implementation of such policies. In both cases, the end-result has been economic stagnation at best, and economic collapse at worst. In this piece, we highlight the important role played by sound macroeconomic policy research in SSA in achieving sustainable economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction. We argue that macroeconomic policy research is complex and multifaceted. It involves transmission mechanisms, trade-offs, and various thresholds that must be fully understood before the policy can be implemented. Therefore, unless SSA countries invest adequately in macroeconomic policy research, the chances of reducing poverty and unemployment will be minimal.

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