There are some insightful suggestions to reducing African poverty in a July 2015 Brookings Institution’s article (http://brook.gs/1ORqiMk), which is part of a series highlighting themes from The Last Mile in Ending Poverty, a book published this summer by their press.
While Asia and Latin America made a significant dent in reducing poverty, it seems to be mainly through growth in “high-productivity sectors such as manufacturing, tradable services, and agro-industry,” said article author John Page. Unfortunately those sectors are still small in Africa. When someone in virtually any African country leaves a farm for a so-called better job, he/she generally only steps up to a low-productivity, still-low-paying service job. According to this article, though in the long run, those sectors are needed for sustainable growth, “raising productivity and incomes in agriculture, where the poor are already employed, is essential.”
TechnoServe’s strength and focus is training smallholder farmers to improve their agricultural techniques and productivity as well as connecting them to markets. Tens of thousands of farmers’ lives and incomes have expanded through TechnoServe’s efforts. We witnessed it first-hand while we worked for them in Swaziland and Kenya: rural families’ gaining education, healthcare, access to better diets, etc. due to increased incomes.
In addition to Rick still working for them, we continue to support them with our book’s royalties. We hope you will buy our book at Amazon to help support TechnoServe, which will help the economies of many countries in Africa!