The SERAs 2018 Theme

Poverty Eradication Through Sustainability: Turning Challenges into Opportunities

In 2010 the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) described the potential and progress of African economies as “lions on the move”. Today, despite the collapse of global commodity prices and political shocks that have slowed growth in Africa, Africa’s economic lions are still moving forward.

Overall, the continent achieved average real annual GDP growth of 5.4% between 2000 and 2010, adding $78 billion annually to GDP (in 2015 prices). But growth slowed to 3.3%, or $69 billion, a year between 2010 and 2015. Has the shine come off Africa’s growth story? New research from the MGI that will be published in full in October concludes that the answer is no, but it is clear that the continent’s growth story has become a more nuanced one. The growth across board has been very steep. But while the graphs continue to point increased value creation through harnessing opportunities, poverty continues to gain grounds in most parts of the society and the gap seems to irredeemable widen between the haves and the haves-not.

The 2017 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) provides a headline estimation of poverty and its composition for 103 countries across the world. The global MPI measures the nature and intensity of poverty, based on the profile of overlapping deprivations each poor person experiences. It aggregates these into meaningful indexes that can be used to inform targeting and resource allocation and to design policies that tackle the interlinked dimensions of poverty together.

A gathering of the United Nations came together in 2015 to set a new road map towards achieving sustainable development. The very first of the list is to eradicate poverty and all of its form by 2030. For this to be realized, 57 people globally need to leave the poverty level every minute, 12 people every minutes for Africa.

On the contrary, 9 people are going into poverty every minute on the continent of Africa, Nigeria being responsible for 7 out of the 9. This is confirmed by the recent publication by the World Bank that Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the most number of people living in extreme poverty, a country with time four of its population.

It is impossible for Africa to reign in the onslaught of poverty, if poverty reduction is not made a focal issue amongst those who possess the economic means as well as the various government. The twelfth edition of The SERAS is focussed on uncovering those organisations whom through their CSR and sustainability activities have committed themselves to reduction of poverty and helping the continent to meet up with its aspirations in 17 areas of SDG’s namely- No poverty; zero hunger; good health & well-being; quality education; gender equality; clean water & sanitation; affordable & clean energy; decent work & economic growth; industry, Innovation & Infrastructure; reduced in-equalities; sustainable cities & communities; responsible consumption & production; climate action; life below water; life on land; peace & justice & strong Institutions; Partnership for all goals.