Panafrican News Agency

Over 200 million West Africans live below poverty line – UNECA Official

Monrovia, Liberia (PANA) - Over 200 million people in West Africa live below the national poverty line, according to a senior official of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).


Bakary Dosso, Director of the UNECA Office for West Africa, said a rough estimate shows that West Africa’s population in 2018 was at 377 million, meaning those below the poverty line represented about 53.5 percent of the sub-region’s people.


Dosso observed that this clearly demonstrates the magnitude of the challenges “we all face within the sub-region.”


He made the statement on Monday in Monrovia during the annual meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts that discussed economic and social performance of member States.


According to Dosso, countries in the sub-region need to make major reforms to their macro-economic and financial frameworks, invest in human capital, tackle infrastructure deficits, improve business climate to meet the challenges and work to sustainably reverse the negative trends.


He noted that success lies in the ability of the national leadership to execute on time, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the different agendas to which it is committed for the transformation of their respective countries and the continent.


In terms of statistics, Dosso said, "it appears that the quality of the data produced suffers from major shortcomings, particularly in terms of regularity and accessibility."


The Intergovernmental Committee of Experts is a body established by the United Nations in West Africa and it meets annually to discuss issues based on working documents prepared by the Sub-regional Office for West Africa.


The office is based in Niamey, Niger, and covers the 15 member countries of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS)

-0- PANA PTK/AR 7May2019