This series of studies was completed under the Poverty Dynamics in Africa Initiative, \r +
which is organized by the Africa Region of the World Bank. This initiative has received support from several bilateral donors: Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The motive for the series, launched in 2002, was to make use of the vastly improved household survey data in Africa and to enhance understanding of poverty trends on this continent during the 1990s. The goal is to provide a more secure empirical basis on which to assess past progress in poverty reduction in Africa and to frame more effective policies for the future.\r +
The countries selected for investigation are those in which the household survey data are robust and can sustain comparisons over time. Many of the studies focus on income (or consumption) poverty and seek to link poverty outcomes to wider economic change, induding economic policy reforms, in the countries concerned. Other studies use demographic and health surveys, which have provided invaluable information about the\r +
well-being of African people-especially the children. Further information can be obtained from Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) in the Africa Region of the World Bank.
(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2002-03) Alwang, Jeffrey; Mills, Bradford F.; Taruvinga, Nelson
Poverty in Zimbabwe increased
significantly during the 1990s, and it increased in all
sectors of the economy. In the middle of the decade, more
than 60 percent of Zimbabwean households fell below the
national poverty line. There are competing reasons for this:
some say it was the result of the government instituting the
Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP), and others
say that ESAP's effectiveness was hampered by recurring
drought. This document sheds light on the sources of the
increase in Zimbabwean poverty, with the use of
non-parametric, and parametric statistical methods. These
techniques support the conclusion that the drought, though
harmful, does not entirely explain the increase in poverty.
The deteriorating economic environment, reducing the returns
to both human, and physical assets, also had profound
effects on household well-being. What are the prospects for
improvement in the near future? Only serious structural
changes to the economy can create labor market conditions,
conducive to long-term, broad-based growth.