In the African context, politicians are well noticed for their assertion of fighting poverty as the central idea that embodied campaign manifestos. For so long they continue to express the commitment yet bulky of the people are still affected by the impact of poverty though minimal achievement that can be quantified.
The fact that poverty is a universal and relative social problem, if politicians mainly in Africa wanted to substantially reduce poverty sincerely, they would have scored significant marks long since.
Having pondered over this aged social problem despite the existence of good governance policy frameworks, my intellect has conceptualized the caption of this article as probably the reason why it is taking too long to substantially fight poverty always captured in political campaign manifestos.
As you may be aware, the World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than US$1.25 per day, and moderate poverty as less than $2 a day. According to research still valid, it has been estimated that in 2008, 1.4 billion people had consumption levels below US$1.25 a day and 2.7 billion lived on less than $2 a day. This phenomenon doubtlessly applies to developing continents to which Africa has since been ranked or classed.
No reasonable or level headed person knowledgeable or semi-knowledgeable about the poverty in Africa dare refute or challenge the below causes regardless of empirical statistics not mention:
2. Bad leadership/Poor governance
4. Poverty is also resulting from Africa’s excessive reliance on foreign culture and products.
5. Poor economy
All of these causes of poverty outlined by Samson Eyituoyo Liolio in his eloquent paper about eliminating poverty in Africa are not emerging or new phenomenon. In fact it is safe to arguably traced their root or history to the emergence of post independent Africa worsen by armed conflict that also link to bad leadership/Poor governance.
From my observation mainly in Liberia, the manner in which politicians response or tackle poverty is quite convincing to accept the argument that there is an inextricable relation between poverty and the promotion of politicians.
This paper or article is not saying that they don’t attempt to tackle poverty. Of course they do. However, because it enhances their political agenda or ambitions, their responses are questionably impact driven in terms of empowerment of the very people that also have the implication for competition.
Let it be cleared that this article is not making reference to politicians that offer either scholarship or financial assistance to deserving people in schools and universities which is thinkable as impact driven in terms of empowerment although it still promotes their agenda.
As it relates to empowerment as one of the viable solutions to fighting poverty, think about the difference or impact to see politicians posing as philanthropists that every weekend encourage those affected by poverty to line up in front of their gigantic gates for few coups of rice, cash or weekly food ration. Also what impact does doing the same during political campaign will have on fighting poverty? Seriously ponder about it.
Instead of strengthening the institutionalization of good governance as the remedy for fighting poverty, the system of good governance is oftencircumvented allegedly so as to serve or enhances the inextricable relation between poverty and their promotions.
In other words, because poverty to some extent serves and promotes theinterest or agenda of politicians, it sounds ironical to hear them expressing the commitment to fighting poverty.
Think about the link or connection of this allegation to the caption of this article. Some of the staffers at the National Legislature continue to attribute the reluctance of the law makers to increase their salaries and probably incentives due to apprehension or fear that it will empower them to some days politically compete against them. Therefore, keep them at that level.
In conclusion, on one will want to reject the argument that fighting poverty is not literally tie to the job of politicians. This is why it is often factored or captured in the all of their platforms purchased by the people who are convinced that it will substantially reduce poverty. Therefore, one cannot distance how fighting poverty promote politicians. However, because of its implications on the positions or ambitions of politicians, they will attempt to tackle the problem but not as it was strategically expressed or factored into their platforms. This is one of the reasons why in our opinion poverty continues to permeate the African society on the average.
By Ambrues M. Nebo