Africa’s extreme inequality crisis: building back fairer after COVID-19

The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index: Africa Briefing

Paper publication date: 
Monday 18 April 2022

Africa is facing a crisis of extreme inequality which is undermining growth, preventing poverty eradication and contributing to insecurity. The six richest African billionaires are now wealthier than the poorest 50% of Africans combined. This briefing paper shows that COVID-19 has deepened this crisis, and that the responses of African governments and international financial institutions are making little difference as debt burdens grow and austerity kicks in.

While some African governments were doing a lot to fight inequality before COVID-19, through equitable public services, progressive taxation and enhanced labour rights, especially for women, most were not. The paper lays out a comprehensive plan of measures which could be taken by African governments, the AU and the international community, including the EU, to significantly reduce inequality, eradicate poverty, accelerate growth, and reduce insecurity throughout Africa.