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How the new poverty agenda neglected social and employment policies in Africa

Mkandawire, Thandika (2010) How the new poverty agenda neglected social and employment policies in Africa. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 11 (1). pp. 37-55. ISSN 1945-2829

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Identification Number: 10.1080/19452820903481400


This article argues that a shift towards issues of poverty is a welcome antidote to policy‐making that had expunged poverty from the central agenda to focus on stabilization, debt management and static allocative efficiency. Unfortunately, in correcting a narrow policy agenda the new focus pushes a good point too far when it focuses attention only on the proximate causes of poverty and narrows the development agenda. Development was aimed at more than poverty and, significantly in countries that have successfully combated poverty, the most important policy measures were not explicitly directed at poverty. Indeed in many cases, other objectives — pre‐empting social unrest, nation‐building, ‘human capital’ developmental considerations — lay behind the policies that, ex post, can be read as poverty reducing. Eradication of poverty is always embedded in social and economic development. The determinants of human development goals are multiple and cut across sectors. The new challenge in Africa is to bring back development, but now one that is democratically anchored and socially inclusive.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2010 15:03
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:44

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