from New Vision
By Vision Reporter & Agencies
The World Bank has named Uganda as one of the six countries on course to halve poverty by 2010.
“Since the second half of the 1990s, many low income African countries including Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal and Uganda have lifted significant percentages of their citizens above the poverty line,” the Bank said in its “Africa Economic Indicators, 2006” report.
“Many countries are still on course to meet the income poverty Millennium Development Goals target of halving poverty by 2015,” the report said.
The eradication of extreme poverty and hunger is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed upon by 189 countries in New York in 2000, with a target date of 2015.
Other MDG targets are achievement of universal primary education, promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment, child mortality reduction, improvements in maternal health, combating HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development.
Uganda was ranked fourth under the category “sustained growth countries” between 1996–2005 behind Mozambique, Rwanda and Cape Verde.
During that period the Ugandan economy averaged 6.1% annual growth while Kenya grew by 2.8%, Rwanda 7.5% and Tanzania by 5.4%.
In addition, the World Bank said fewer conflicts and increased economic growth had led to the dubbing of 2005 “The Year of Africa,” a turning point for the continent.
Its annual study of the continent found that 16 African states had managed to maintain annual economic growth of more than 4.5% since the 1990s.
This had enabled them to lift more of their citizens above the poverty line.
Meanwhile, the number of African conflicts fell from 16 in 2002 to five in 2005, the report said.
“Africa today is a continent on the move, making tangible progress on delivering better health, education, growth, trade and poverty-reduction outcomes,” said Gobind Nankani, the World Bank vice-president for Africa.
The bank’s African Development Indicators report highlighted the extreme diversity of economic achievement in Africa.
On one hand, Zimbabwe’s economy shrunk by 2.4% in 2004, while Equatorial Guinea’s economy surged 20.9%.
But the report also noted that inflation on the continent was down to historic lows and that the region weathered the impact of higher oil prices in recent years.
However, the bank said foreign investment in the continent was $10.1b in 2004, only 1.6% of global foreign investment.
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