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Health, Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction (HEGPR)

Recent statistics reveal that Africa is home to 30% of the world’s poor and its poverty is further exacerbated by ill health. HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis alone account for over 6 million deaths annually and countless hours of lost productivity.

At the rate of an average of 16,438 deaths daily, all efforts must target both preventive and curative measures to the overall benefit of both sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) citizens and the global community. Studies have revealed that countries investing in human capital realize high growth rates and are better placed to reduce poverty only if the health conditions and the environment are conducive. Such an outcome contrasts with the reality in many African countries whose governments, mainly due to resource limitations, and partly due to low awareness levels, allocate lower priority to citizens’ health in national budgets.


This subproject was initiated with two aims: The first was to explore the effects of health-related variables (preventive and promotive measures such as vaccination and nutrition, spread of health facilities, HIV/AIDS infection rates, malaria etc.) on poverty via their impact on economic growth. The second aim was to influence preventive policy measures that will save lives through attachments of PhD students to ministries of finance, health and planning, to address the growing health crisis in Africa occasioned by residual budget allocations. Because empirical evidence on the interactions among health, economic growth and poverty in Africa is lacking, the research project on Health, Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Africa is expected to facilitate evidence-based policy responses to managing the African health crisis. The results will be widely disseminated to raise awareness of African governments and policy makers on the need to invest in the health sector.

Membership of Project Steering Committee

  1. Olu Ajakaiye (Chair)
  2. William Lyakurwa
  3. David Sahn (Project Coordinator)
  4. Germano Mwabu
  5. Duncan Thomas
  6. Lambo Eyitayo
  7. Martine Audbert
  8. Robert Eastwood
  9. Murray Leibbrandt



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