WASHINGTON, October 13, 2015—World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim will visit Ghana on Friday, October 16, to participate in high-level talks, launch a report on poverty in Africa, highlight Ghana’s progress toward ending extreme poverty, and commemorate End Poverty Day. The president’s visit to Accra will be part of several activities this week focusing on ending extreme poverty by 2030.
The trip comes shortly after the release of a World Bank report earlier this month that projects for the first time that the percentage of people living in extreme poverty around the world will have fallen below 10 percent in 2015, to 9.6 percent. The Bank estimates that 702 million people still live in extreme poverty today around the world.
Several African countries have seen significant successes in reducing extreme poverty, including Ghana, which reduced extreme poverty to 25.2 percent in 2005/06 from 47.3 percent in 1991/92 (under the $1.90 poverty line). But the region as a whole lags behind the rest of the world in progressing toward the goal. Sub-Saharan poverty fell from an estimated 56 percent in 1990 to a projected 35 percent in 2015, according to the latest World Bank estimates, which are based on an extreme poverty line of $1.90 a day. Rapid population growth remains a key factor blunting progress in many countries.
During the first part of his visit, Dr. Kim will be joined by Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama and other development partners as well as civil society leaders, private sector representatives, and student leaders to observe “End Poverty Day” in Jamestown, Accra, where they will together launch a regional flagship report, ‘Poverty in a Rising Africa’. The report explores whether enough of the continent’s citizens are sharing in Africa’s rise, analyzes challenges related to poverty data, and provides an update on poverty and other trends related to human well-being.
Kim will also participate in a “Shared Prosperity Forum” in the afternoon at the University of Ghana, Legon, along with government ministers from Africa, civil society and private sector leaders to share thoughts on what it will take to end extreme poverty in Africa and the rest of the world by 2030. Ghana’s own path toward prosperity will be among the topics explored.
The World Bank current portfolio for Sub-Saharan Africa consists of $11.6 billion for 103 projects. This includes $1.2 billion in IBRD loans and $10.4 billion in IDA commitments. The leading sectors are Public Administration, Law, and Justice; Health and other Social Services; and Transportation.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group focused on the private sector, has a total committed investment portfolio of $10.3 billion in Sub Saharan Africa, including $8.7 billion for its own account and $1.7 billion mobilized on behalf of other investors. IFC also provides wide-ranging advice to governments and businesses to help the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. MIGA, the political risk insurance and credit enhancement arm of the World Bank Group, has a gross exposure of $3.3 billion in the region. Both IFC and MIGA support a wide range of projects sponsored by private investors across industries: financial institutions; infrastructure and natural resources; and manufacturing, agribusiness, and services.