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Reproductive Health, Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction (RHEGPR)

The poverty burden in sub-Saharan Africa today is staggering. There is growing international concern that Africa will not achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the year 2015. This concern is based on dismal performance of sub-Saharan Africa, relative to the rest of the world with respect to development indicators such as growth in per capita income and availability of basic human needs.


The ongoing worldwide studies on pro-poor growth provide strong evidence that despite the progress recorded in terms of economic growth in several African countries during the 1990s, there has been no corresponding reduction in poverty, with the possible exception of Ghana. Clearly, there is need to examine the linkages among growth, inequality and poverty reduction in Africa in order to provide useful guidance as to policies necessary not only to speed up growth rate, but also to accelerate poverty reduction. Widespread and substantial poverty reduction in Africa is necessary if the continent is to join the rest of the world in achieving the MDGs by 2015.

The purpose of the project was to investigate the complex interactions among reproductive health, economic growth and poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa, taking into account the initial conditions in each of the countries where case studies will be conducted.

The specific objectives of the project include investigations of:

(a) Effects of declines in fertility and infant mortality on growth, income distribution and poverty;
(b) Mechanisms for provision and financing of reproductive health services in Africa and for improving access to these services especially among the poor; and
(c) Effects of investment in reproductive health on HIV/AIDS and other welfare indicators such as schooling, maternal morbidity and mortality, child health, and longevity

Membership of Project Steering Committee

  1. Olu Ajakaiye (Chair)
  2. William Lyakurwa
  3. Germano Mwabu (Project Coordinator)
  4. Erick Thorbecke
  5. Alex Ezeh
  6. Ali Abdel Ali
  7. David Bloom
  8. Joseph Wang’ombe
  9. David Canning

With the guidance of the Steering Committee, AERC commissioned the preparation of the detailed project proposal that provided a comprehensive survey of the literature, outlined an operational work programme and spelt out areas for in-depth study in the context of policy relevance to SSA. The project proposal was completed and approved in May 2006. In the same month of May 2006, AERC commissioned African and international scholars and analysts in this area to prepare the following 13 framework papers:

  1. Population Dynamics: A Survey Article on Key Demographic  Concepts by Joseph Patrick Servilla
  2. Relationship between Demographic Process: Fertility and Mortality by Joseph Patrick Servilla
  3. Macro Perspective on the Impact of Demographics on Growth, Income Distribution, and Poverty by Patrick Servilla
  4. Demography, Growth, Income Distribution and Poverty: A Survey of Interrelationships by Ali A. Ali
  5. Demographic Transitions, Poverty and Growth Experiences of Selected Countries in Africa by David Bloom and David Canning
  6. Demand for Reproductive Health Services: Frameworks of Analysis by Germano Mwabu and Olu Ajakaiye
  7. Provision and Organization of Reproductive Health Services in sub-Saharan Africa by Joseph Wang’ombe and Mercy Mugo
  8. Reproductive Health and behaviour, HIV/AIDS and Poverty in Africa by Peter Jay Glick
  9. Financing Reproductive Health Services in Africa: The Role of Aid, Insurance, User Fees and General Taxation by Nana Enyimayew
  10. The Relationship between Poverty and Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in sub-Saharan Africa by David Sahn and Chad D. Mayerhoefer
  11. Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Construction of Reproductive Health Accounts in Africa by Adedoyin Soyibo and Kunle Odumosu
  12. Labour Market Activities and Fertility by Steve Younger
  13. Returns to Reproductive Health Investments by Germano Mwabu

These papers have been finalized and posted on the AERC website and have been published under: Ajakaiye O. and Mwabu, G. ed.  (2010), Reproductive Health, Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Africa: Frameworks of Analysis. University of Nairobi Press and African Economic Consortium (AERC). 

The country case studies for this project have been completed and they include:

  1. La demande des Services de santé de la Reproduction au Bénin : Une Analyse par l’approche des fonctions de contrôle by Damien Mededji, Cosme Vodounou, and Odile Attanasso
  2. Determinants of Birth Weight in Botswana  by Okurut Francis Nathan
  3. Production of Child Health, Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Cameroon by Samuel Fambon
  4. Incidence des soins de Santé prénatale sur le Poids à la Naissance des Enfants en Côte d’Ivoire by Mama Ouattara,  Souleymane S. Diallo, Eric k. Kouadio,  Yaya Ouattara, and Cleopatre Kablan
  5. Demand for Health in Ethiopia: Exploratory Analysis from Welfare Monitoring Surveys by Abebe Shimeles
  6. Fertility, Income and Poverty of Households in Ghana  by Vijay Bhasin
  7. Demande des Services de Sante de la Reproduction en Guinée : Déterminants du Poids a la Naissance : Une Application d'approche de Fonction de Contrôle by Aboubacar Kaba
  8. The Consequences of Fertility for Child Health in Kenya:  Endogeneity, Heterogeneity and Application of the Control Function approach by Jane Kabubo-Mariara, Godfrey K. Ndeng’e, and Domisiano K. Mwabu
  9. Demand for Reproductive Health and Child Mortality in Nigeria by Adetola.I Adeoti , .A Oni,  S.K Alonge, and O.O. Akintunde
  10. Demande En Services de Santé de la Reproduction : Le Cas du Sénégal by Latif Dramani and Oumy Laye
  11. La Santé Reproductive au Togo : Une Analyse Empirique des déterminants de la Demande  by Akoété Agbodji, M. Abalo Kodjo , M. KouassiI Koame , Johnson Ablamba  and Issifou Alima
  12. Determinants of Birth weight in Uganda by Lawrence Bategeka
  13. A Dynamic Analysis of the Role of Growth and Reproductive Health in Poverty: The Case of Zambia by Noah Mutoti  and Nchimunya Nkombo
  14. A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Preventing Malaria in pregnancy: Perceptions and Implications for Poverty Reduction and Growth in Cameroon by Tabi A. Johannes,  Fuein V. Kum, and Efonle N. Sylvestre
  15. Evaluation Economique des Projets visant la Réduction de la Morbi- Mortalité Maternelle au Congo Brazzaville  by Bethuel Makosso,  Martine B. Pongui  and  Alain D. Koyangozo
  16. Characterization of Reproductive Health Services and Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Family Planning provision in Thika District, Kenya by Mercy Mugo, Peterson J. Muriithi,  Josephine Kibaru and Paul Kizito
  17. An Analysis of the Impact of Reproductive Health on Growth and Poverty: The Case of Mauritius by Sunil K. Bundoo and J. Sunkur
  18. Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Alternative Contraceptive Methods in Urban Inhambane- Mozambique by Joel Muzima & Fonseca Machaule
  19. Cost effectiveness of Reproductive Health Interventions in Uganda: The Case for Family Planning services by Sarah Ssewanyana & Ibrahim Kasirye

These case studies are currently under publication as chapters in a book volume. With the support of Hewlett Foundation, the findings and policy implications of this project were disseminated among senior African policy makers in Ministries of Finance, Central Banks, donor organizations and other stakeholders at a Side Event of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Annual Meetings in Abidjan, Cote D’ivoire on May 24, 2010. A policy brief training workshop with collaboration from GDN was held from 24-26 May, 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya. 


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