World Bank Group President to visit Ghana for End Poverty Day

Dr. Jim Yong Kim
Dr. Jim Yong Kim

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim will visit Ghana Friday, October 16, to commemorate End Poverty Day by participating in talks, discussing Ghana’s progress toward ending extreme poverty, and launching a report on poverty in Africa.

Jim Yong Kim’s visit to Accra will be part of several activities this week focusing on the World Bank’s goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030, the Bank said in a statement to ghanabusinessnews.

His visit comes shortly after the release of a World Bank report earlier this month which projects that for the first time, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty around the world will fall below 10 percent in 2015, to 9.6 per cent.

The Bank estimates that 702 million people still live in extreme poverty today around the world.

The World Bank Group says Ghana is has reduced extreme poverty from 47.3 per cent in 1991/92 to 25.2 per cent in 2005/06 and is among several African countries to have seen significant successes in reducing extreme poverty.

But the World Bank says sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, still lags behind the rest of the world in progressing toward the goal.

“Poverty in the region fell from an estimated 56 per cent in 1990 to a projected 35 percent in 2015, according to the latest World Bank estimates which are based on an extreme poverty line of $1.90 a day”, the statement said.

Rapid population growth is said to be a key factor delaying progress in many countries.

Dr. Kim is expected to be joined by President John Dramani Mahama, other development partners, civil society leaders, private sector representatives, and student leaders to observe “End Poverty Day” in Jamestown, Accra, where they will together launch a regional flagship report, ‘Poverty in a Rising Africa’.

“The report explores whether enough of the continent’s citizens are sharing in Africa’s rise, analyzes challenges related to poverty data, and provides an update on poverty and other trends related to human well-being.”

The World Bank President is also expected to participate in a “Shared Prosperity Forum” at the University of Ghana, Legon, along with government ministers from Africa, civil society and private sector leaders to share thoughts on what it will take to end extreme poverty in Ghana , the rest of Africa and the world by 2030.

The World Bank’s current portfolio for Sub-Saharan Africa consists of $11.6 billion for 103 projects. This includes $1.2 billion in loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and $10.4 billion in commitments from the International Development Association (IDA).

The Bank says the leading sectors are Public Administration, Law, and Justice; Health and other Social Services; and Transportation.

The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group focused on the private sector, also has a total committed investment portfolio of $10.3 billion for sub-Saharan Africa, including $8.7 billion for its own account and $1.7 billion mobilized from other investors.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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