In a recent article, David Pilling argues that large corporations are the solution to Africa’s poverty. However, he neglects to consider the significant impact of micro-entrepreneurs in regions where big businesses may not reach. The World Bank emphasizes that extreme poverty persists in remote, often conflict-ridden areas – exactly where smaller enterprises can thrive.
Empirical evidence supports the transformative potential of programs aimed at addressing extreme poverty. Teaching business skills in these communities leads to a significant increase in household incomes, with annual consumption rising by over 80% and savings by up to 900%. Randomized control trials show positive effects on diet, health, and the ability to save for the future. Shameran Abed and Esther Duflo also highlight the long-term success and scalability of such approaches.
The path to ending extreme poverty in Africa is not a single approach, but rather a comprehensive strategy that integrates proven methodologies with the development of larger businesses. This approach aims to create a resilient and inclusive economic landscape across the continent.
Chief Government Relations Officer