World Bank statistics show that about 48.5% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa lives in poverty. Those living on less than $1.25 per day account for around 40 percent. In Nigeria, for example, in attempt to end poverty, various programs have been implemented at various times in the past four decades or so. These have included Operation Feed the Nation, Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure, Directorate of employment, Family Support Program and National Poverty Eradication Program, NAPEP. Yet nearly 115 million Nigerians still live in poverty today. So something must be done and very aggressively. Perhaps just focusing on only a few areas of deficiency is not enough to eradicate poverty. Focusing with synergy on multiple interrelated areas simultaneously may do the trick.
One of the most urgent tools required to fight poverty in Africa is education. Without education and literacy at the most basic levels, the chances of getting viable employment is almost non-existent. In line with education, is to promote the girl child education and the removal of any glass ceiling for corporate or public leadership for women. Any writhing culture that stifles the progress of women must be visited to make it more dynamic and responsive to collective human progress and shared prosperity. As we all know, Northern and Central states in Nigeria tend to have lower rates of education and literacy, compared to those of Southern Nigeria according to latest survey of National Bureau of Statistics of 2018/2019.
This disparity must be addressed properly.
However, implementation of programs to update culture and improve basic education alone will never be enough to end poverty anywhere. Focusing on cultural behavior and basic education without addressing a serious lack of basic healthcare is a problem. The people need to eat. To eat, you need technological change, capital accumulation, training, efficiency and other changes in attitude that will ensure that income levels rise equitably and for all, also that adequate food is availability and hunger is banished. Poverty must end. It can be done. Let us raise the level a bit in our efforts.