The Emerging Middle Class in Africa
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The emergence of the African middle class as a driver of Africa’s economic growth stands out as an important milestone in Africa’s contemporary economic history. This growth, though uneven, is a source of hope for Africa, but also a signal to the rest of the world on the prospects for economic recovery and renewal, particularly because it has been steady despite the global downturn.
The Emerging Middle Class in Africa
analyses specific aspects of the lives of the middle class in Africa. It looks at how people become and remain in the middle class through a series of thematic chapters. It examines how behaviour changes in the process, in terms of consumption patterns and spending on health and education. A further dimension of this analysis is how class impacts on gender relations and whether women are able to reap the same benefits of social advancement available to men. Africa is a continent of such scale and diversity that experiences across countries vary widely. The book thus captures the common patterns across the continent.
This text is primarily aimed at Africanist researchers, policy makers, development practitioners, and bilateral and multilateral institutions, as well as students of African studies, political science, political economy, development studies, and development economics.
within the bank and its regional member countries. Professor Ncube is a Senior Research Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, UK and a Research Fellow at St Anthony’s College, University of Oxford, UK. Charles Leyeka Lufumpa is Director of the Statistics Department at the African Development Bank Group. He oversees the bank’s activities to build statistical capacity as well as the data needs for results measurement in its operations in African countries. ‘Since the
holding a steady job, and so it can be useful to look simply at those with full-time permanent jobs as another proxy for the middle class. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) uses a definition of the ‘global middle class’ as those households with a daily per capita expenditure of $10–$100 per person in 2005 PPP US dollars. It further suggests that there are 1.8 billion people that fall into this category. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and North Africa are considered
the poor. Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Morocco, South Africa, and Tanzania For their 2011 book, Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, Banerjee and Duflo collected household survey data from a range of countries, including five African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Morocco, South Africa, and Tanzania. These data show spending and asset ownership patterns for those earning (i) below $2 a day, (ii) between $2 and $4 (the ‘floating class’), and (iii) between $6 and
socially beneficial utilization of skilled labor in both the public and private sectors (Marshall and Jaggers, 2002). FIGURE 4.3 Employment status by educational level, 2008 (Question asked: ‘Do you have a job paying cash income?’) (source: Afrobarometer Values Surveys. All surveys from 2008 unless otherwise stated cover: Benín, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda,
allow people to move into a new sector or industry with higher wage rates, or to relocate to an urban agglomeration where job opportunities are greater. The region has witnessed strong expansion in manufacturing and service industries such as telecommunications and finance in recent years. This is expected to translate into sustained growth of middle-class jobs in the future. African cities will continue to expand at a rapid pace, creating the dynamic environments conducive to innovation and