Policy Papers

Analyzing inequality trends in Africa and around the world

09 Mar 2021

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AED 10

Introduction The inequalities saddling many countries today, including income, health, gender, wealth, and opportunity, stem from different, multifaceted root causes. For this paper’s purpose, the use of inequality will be largely about economic inequality. Global inequality matters as social, political, and economic factors have created environments so unequally divided and skewed that many believe it to be society’s organic nature if there is any at all. Assuming that society is structured in a zero-sum manner, inequality will always exist. However, rising global inequality is self-induced engineering that has become a mainstay in many countries. This paper uses empirical evidence to demonstrate why and how global inequality matters. The paper looks at global inequality from two dimensions – Africa and the rest of the world,  emphasizing Nigeria. It is divided into five sections. First, the literature review which emphasizes on some core concepts – poverty, polarization and redistribution. Second, global inequality analysis in Africa’s context – what does that entail for the second- largest continent in the world? Third, the paper discusses Nigeria – the biggest economy in Africa – looking at its inequality challenges and its future implications. The fourth section highlights mechanisms that states can use to address inequality. The paper concludes with key takeaways and the “so what?” question.