Recent economic growth in many African countries is widely welcomed, but it is not clear how inclusive that growth is, particularly of rural populations. In a general context of poor data, household consumption data appear to suggest that poverty rates have not declined much with growth, suggesting that growth is not inclusive. But this finding may depend on the measure of poverty used. We argue that existing measures of poverty in debates about the inclusivity of economic growth use indices of consumption, not assets, and are therefore incomplete. We present new data based on recent re-surveys of Tanzanian households first visited in the early 1990s. These demonstrate a marked increase in prosperity (as measured by assets) from high levels of poverty. We consider the implications of this research for further explorations of the relationship of economic growth and agricultural policy in rural areas, and for attempts to cope with Africa’s ‘statistical tragedy’.
Time: 16:15 – 17:45 / Venue: University of Cologne, Department of Geography, Südbau, Ü3, Otto-Fischer-Str. 4, 50674 Cologne