World Bank upbeat
about ending global poverty
ACCRA, Oct. 17 (PNA/Xinhua) -- The World Bank Group is optimistic that
global poverty is on its way out, President Jim Yong Kim said here on
This optimism comes because, for the first time in human history, the
percentage of people living in extreme poverty has reduced to 10 percent,
relative to 36 percent in 1990.
Kim said these at a joint press conference with Ghanaian President John
Dramani Mahama ahead of the launch of "Poverty in Rising Africa" in the
"There is no better place than here in Ghana to show the world that great
progress can be made to end extreme poverty in just two decades; because of
the work of several governments, Ghana cut its poverty rate by more than
half, from 55 percent in 1991 to 21 percent in 2012," Kim noted.
He said three critical reasons for Ghana's success included structural
transformation, which shifted from a wholly agricultural-based into
non-agricultural-based self-employment and, to a lesser degree, wage jobs;
investment in education for Ghanaians; and growing urban areas creating
higher earning jobs.
The World Bank has twin goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boost
shared prosperity for the bottom 40 percent of populations in developing
Kim said Ghana had become a shining example because so many things had
become better in Ghana in areas of maternal mortality, infant mortality, and
structural transformation, among others.
Although there has been enormous progress made towards these goals, the
World Bank boss conceded that there were difficulties along the path,
including low economic growth, low commodity prices and pending interest
He was also concerned that the rest of 700 million people of the world
living in extreme poverty, about half of the numbers, could be found in
Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA).
He was however hopeful that once the right investments are made into
education, health and other economic sectors, the goals would be achieved as
"70 percent of people lifted out of poverty in the last two decades were
lifted out because of economic growth".
President Mahama lauded the World Bank for the support it gave to West
Africa to fight the scourge of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the sub-region.
"You have shown that you are not just fair-weather friends, but friends
indeed," Mahama said in response to commendations by the World Bank
president for his leadership role in the fight against the disease.
"In Ghana, poverty has become largely a rural phenomenon, with 15 percent of
rural people living in extreme poverty while two percent of urban dwellers
are also in poverty," Mahama stated.
He urged the World Bank to identify some really transformational programs
that could reduce poverty levels in Sub Sahara Africa, calling for a
comprehensive development program for the Savannahs belt of the region. (PNA/Xinhua)