Economies in sub-Saharan Africa grew at a record pace before covid-19 pandemic, however, the growth has not been equally distributed, leaving income gaps unfilled.
The IMF in its economic outlook report says it is less clear if the gains in economic growth have been shared equally across regions.
At least until 2010, African countries had made progress in reducing regional income inequality, the differences in output per capita across regions of a country.
This was in marked contrast with other parts of the world, where inequality either increased or convergence was slower, the international lender says.
Ethiopia and Rwanda, for example, saw some of the fastest expansions in the world with an average of more than 7.5 per cent per year over the past two decades.
According to USAID, In Kenya, until the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, the country was one of the fastest growing economies in Africa with an annual average growth of 5.9 per cent between 2010 and 2018.
With a GDP of $95 billion(Sh11.4 trillion) USAID notes that the country reached lower-middle income status, and has successfully established a diverse and dynamic economy.
However, it continues to face significant challenges to sustainable and inclusive economic growth, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19’s economic disruptions, alongside long-running challenges including corruption and economic inequality.
This has so far occasioned a situation where two-thirds of Kenyans live in poverty, making less than Sh400 per day and have since Kenya’s independence.
As a result, the majority of Kenyans, particularly women and girls, can be considered vulnerable.
This attributes to the gap between the rich and poor, with approximately 70 per cent of Kenyan families vulnerable due to poor nutrition, food insecurity, and preventable diseases.
“Many Kenyans suffer from economic inequality while a minority elite continues to exploit their labor, resources, and opportunities,” USAID says.