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CAIRO BOOKS's Description
This volume provides a set of six case studies from West Africa. These assess
the benefits of growth (or the costs of a lack of growth) in terms of poverty
reduction in those countries. The first part of this book describes the
experience of two countries (Ghana and Senegal) that achieved high levels of
growth in the 1990s, and that also experienced important reductions in poverty,
even though growth was not strictly pro-poor. The second part describes the
experience of two other countries (Burkina Faso and Cape Verde) that also
achieved high levels of growth in the 1990s, but where there was an initial
perception that growth did not lead to much poverty reduction. The more
detailed analysis of poverty presented here suggests however that these two
countries did witness a sharp reduction in their population share in poverty,
as would have been expected given their growth record. Finally, in the third
part, the authors argue that a lack of growth in the 1990s in Guinea-Bissau and
Nigeria has been a key reason for their persistently high levels of poverty.
Overall, the case studies make a strong case for the positive impact of growth
on poverty reduction in West Africa. However, they also point to the need to
pay close attention to changes in inequality, because such changes have limited
the gains from growth for the poor in several of the countries considered here.