Institut für Ernährungswirtschaft und Verbrauchslehre

Driving forces of rural poverty and distributional change in Sub-Saharan Africa: The cases of Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda

The first of the eight Millennium Development Goals called out in 2000 aims, inter alia, at reducing the proportion of people living on less than 1$ a day by half until 2015 but most of the developing countries will not succeed in achieving this goal. Especially sub-Saharan Africa is in all likelihood going to fail. To better understand the correlation between changes in poverty and, for example, policies, climatic conditions, and people’s individual endowments and to be able to reveal international accordances and differences, case studies of three Sub-Saharan African countries, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Uganda, are to be analysed. 

Since most of the poverty emerges rather in rural regions than in urban areas the analysis basically aims at identifying the major driving forces of rural poverty and changes in distribution. Thereby, the analysis targets to identify macro as well as local and micro determinants of the households’ income and furthermore to detect possible linkages, especially between the micro and the macro level. In particular, the project plans to specify a comprehensive model of rural income generation accounting for the major constraints at the micro level as well as a macro model capturing the transmission of shocks and policies to the household level. Finally, the combination of both of the models in a micro-macro simulation will serve to quantify the impact of the main country-specific shocks and policy reforms on poverty and income distribution.

As this analysis is realised in collaboration with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the University of Göttingen, the University of Kiel concentrates on dealing with the Living Standard Survey of Ghana, whereas special attention is turned to income diversification as the main area of research. Income diversification as a poverty alleviation tool is rampant in rural areas either as a chance to manage risk ex ante or to serve as an ex post coping strategy. 

The aim of this research is to analyse the incidence and the composition of income diversification and to derive suitable hypotheses to examine potential constraints and advantages influencing the poor’s decision behaviour in respect of different income sources. Constraints like limited access to education or medical care as well as incomplete financial markets possess the potential to negatively influence the income generation process. Thereby, based on the findings of the study, main fields for future policies and programmes are to be detected in order to improve living conditions in rural Ghana.


Laufzeit: 01.06.2007 -
Förderer: DFG
Projektleitung: Prof. Dr. Awudu Abdulai
Bearbeitung: Christiane El Jarbi, M.Sc.