The Role Of Good Governance In Eliminating Poverty In Sub-Sahara Africa

A Case Study Of Rwanda

Elaboration 2017 10 Pages

Politics - International Politics - Region: Africa


Table of Contents


The Republic of Rwanda

Governance system in Rwanda

Home-Grown Solutions in Governance



List of Figures


African continent has for several decades been considered the poorest continent in the world simply because the majority of children and adults suffer from extreme poverty.[1] According to the global development report published by the guardian in 2016, Sub-Saharan Africa not only has the highest percentage of children living in extreme poverty (49%), it is home to the largest share of the world’s extremely poor children (51%). South Asia has the second highest share (36%). Although many experts have indicated that[2] sub-Sahara Africa in particular, is expected to reach a GDP of $29 trillion by 2050, there is little to indicate how this growth correlates with economic development. No matter how true these predictions might be, sub-Sahara Africa’s economic development is slower and the situation on ground don’t reflect whether this growth will soon give birth to economic development as exports argue. Sub-Sahara Africa is losing energetic labor force through economic migration that that has since 2013 become a serious social problem to Europe. The illegal immigrant who are fleeing the continent for green pastures in Europe risking their lives in the Mediterranean Sea is a clear indicators of high poverty levels and political instabilities due to bad governance in sub-Sahara part of Africa. According to the article by Chris Tomlinson published in Breitbart connect,[3] the Australia military intelligence predicted that a sharp rise in unemployment across the African nations will lead to 15 million massive increase of economic migrants by 2020, the agency went ahead to suggest that European countries should invest in sub-Sahara Africa to create employment as this will stop immigrants from migrating to Europe, this in my opinion is not the sole solution to this problem since investment amidst bad governance is life putting Ghee butter on fire. In 1960s sub-Sahara African countries were gaining their independence from their colonial masters, in this same period of time, the four Asian dragons or Tigers (South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore) were struggling with building their economies, in fact some African countries for example at independence in 1957, Ghana had the same GDP per capita with south Korea and Nigeria was a better palm oil export to Malaysia but currently Nigeria is one of the major consumptions of Malaysia’s palm oil instead.

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Figure1.1: The World Bank (2011) sub-Sahara Africa and East Asia, per capita GDP

However by the 21st century, the four Asian tigers were considered advanced and high income economies, the only difference between sub-Sahara Africa and the Asian tigers was that the later specialized in the areas of competitive advantage. Singapore and Hong Kong for instance become global leading financial centers while South Korea and Taiwan heavily investing in information technology and industrialization, this was backed by good governance with strict laws against corruption. Sub-Sahara Africa on the other hand was suffering from disasters for instance towards the end of 1980s,[4] Ethiopia was experiencing intensifying drought that brought famine where 5.8 million people were dependent on relief food. This situation had put Ethiopia’s economy into a state of collapse. War in Democratic Republic of Cong, Central African Republic, and Sudan was a huge obstacle to the development of these sub-Sahara African nations. In 1990s a horror of genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda (1994), the civil war in Sierra Leon (1991-2002) and the civil war in Somalia(1991). In the other part of sub-Sahara Africa especially Uganda and South

Africa, HIV/AIDS pandemic prevalence and incidence were high and eating up humans leaving many families with orphans and in poverty tragedy. Also the fact that sub-Sahara African states engaged in running large state-owned corporations like agricultural marketing boards that negatively affected the productivity yet governments spent much in capital investment in these corporations (Francis Fukuyama 2004p6). Fukuyama also goes on to argue that the characterized the regimes in in sub-Sahara of states as “neopatrimonial” where political powers are used to service a clientelistic network of supporters of the countries leader like Mubutu sese seko in DRC (Joseph 1987), such states are predatory because most of the resources and tax payers money are used to benefit a few individuals instead of the whole population.

The above mentioned tragedies left the whole region of sub-Sahara Africa in a tough situation since many countries suffered indirectly especially with refugee influx. As many countries in sub-Sahara Africa suffered extreme poverty due to poor economic policies, bad governance associated with corruption and authoritarianism, UN called for argent action to implement the millennium development goals and the two Breton woods institutions(IMF and the World Bank) required certain conditions for a country to borrow money, these conditions were called the structural adjustment policies (SAPS) which included privatization, reduction of trade barriers and currency devaluation. According to Larry Elliott in his article the lost decade published by the guardian,[5] 1990s was a lost decade for Africa and the world’s poor fell further behind. Yet this same period of time was referred to as by some economists as the East Asian miracle. This journal intends to contribute to the academic literature on the role good governance in eliminating poverty in sub-Sahara Africa taking into consideration Rwanda’s success story of achieving good results in economic growth and development through good governance.

The Republic of Rwanda

Rwanda is located in the Central-East Africa and by area it covers 26,338sq km (10,169 sq. miles), its population is estimated to be 11.2 million people. Rwanda’s immediate neighbors are Uganda, Congo. Tanzania and Burundi as indicated in the map below.

Figure 2.2: shows the map of Rwanda

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Source : http://www.lonelyplanet.com/maps/africa/rwanda

For many people, when you mention Rwanda what emanates in their mind is 1994 genocide against the Tutsi that claimed 1 million lives, today, Rwanda has become a living success story in the contemporary politics of governance and state building.[6] International institutions like the World Bank is currently praising Rwanda for remarkable development success that seen the country reduce poverty and inequalities. The debate is how this Central-East African country with limited natural resources has recovered from both economic and political wounds of 1994 genocide against the Tutsi into a strong economy. This journal will draw more attention to the governance system in Rwanda and examine how it is helping the country to eliminate poverty and bring economic growth and development.


[1] https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/oct/05/nearly-half-all-children-sub-saharan-africa-extreme-poverty-unicef-world-bank-report-warns

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Africa

[3] http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/01/07/austrian-intelligence-warns-15-million-african-migrants-2020

[4] http://countrystudies.us/ethiopia/35.htm

[5] Larry Elliott (The lost decade), the guardian Wednesday July 2003 11;20

[6] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa


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Title: The Role Of Good Governance In Eliminating Poverty In Sub-Sahara Africa