An Oxfam International report has revealed that the richest persons in Africa own 40 per cent of the wealth in the entire continent, adding that three richest billionaires have more wealth than the bottom 50 per cent of the population in the continent.
The report explained that the continent was rapidly becoming the epicentre of global extreme poverty, adding that while massive reduction in the number of those living on less than $1.90 a day have been achieved in Asia, the number was rising in Africa.
“The World Bank estimates that 87 per cent of the world’s extreme poor will be in Africa by 2030, if current trends continue. African women and girls are most likely to be poor. Levels of gender inequality are among the highest in the world, combining with economic inequality to create a suffocating web of exclusion.
“Women and girls are also responsible for the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work that contributes to their family, community and the economy,” the report noted.
The report titled: ‘A tale of two continent’ explained that the economic prospects for Africa ware poor, stating that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had predicted that 24 of the 45 sub-Saharan African countries, including South Africa and Nigeria, were not likely to see strong economic recovery.
It stated that one in 10 children in the continent die before they reach their fifth birthday and more than 10 million children do not go to school.
“Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy, yet the fruits of its economic growth are not shared equally. Poverty and destitution are stubbornly high: around 10 million children are out of school, a quarter of citizens lack access to safe drinking water, and half are living below the $1.90 poverty line.
“It is estimated that $24 billion would be needed to end poverty in the country, which is less than the combined wealth of the richest five Nigerians. Their $29.9bn is more than the country’s entire 2017 budget.
“Nigeria also ranks middle of the table on work and wages, but in the past year has seen an increase in the number of labour rights violations. The minimum wage has not increased since 2011, but there is some hope of improvement here. In November 2018, the government agreed to enter into negotiations with labour unions on increasing the monthly minimum wage, from ₦18,000 ($50) to ₦30,000, amid threats of a nationwide strike.”