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  Page 1  of 14   ECONOMIC GROWTH, POVERTY, GENDER AND SOCIAL INEQUALITIES IN BURKINA FASO: A REVIEW OF ISSUES AND TRENDS. Introduction 1. Burkina Faso (BF), the smallest Sahelian landlocked country (274200Km2), gained independence from France in 1960 under the name of “Haute Volta”. Since then its political history has been characterized by two major regime changes, both triggered by riots. The first (1966) was followed by decades of military rule, including a short period of revolutionary government led by Capt. Thomas Sankara (1984-1987). The second (2014 ) rushed the collapse of Blaise Campaore’s  long reign (1987-2014). This led to a democratically elected government (2015) with a civilian as head of state for the first time in 50 years. 2. BF belongs to West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) sharing the CFA currency and the same Central Bank with 6 others countries. It has enjoyed fixed exchange rate and low inflation but had to implement Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP) in the 1980-9 0’s, mainly through conservative budgetary policies, privatization of parastatals and liberalization of markets resorting to currency devaluation only once in 1994 together with all other WAEMU members. The Fundamentals of the country context 3. The GDP per capita is around 645 US $. The country has a population of 19,5 million, with a relatively high degree of ethnic diversity (more than 60 ethnic groups, the Mossi constituting more than half of the population 52.5%) 1 . The demographics of religious affiliation are estimated as 61.7% Muslim, 23.2% Catholic, 7.3% animist and 6.7% Protestant, but Burkina Faso has by far the strongest social cohesion in west Africa. “E thnicity is not a politically relevant factor with respect to state identity. ” 2 . Sahelian countries are all fragile states, surrounded by armed conflicts and attacks from Islamic jihadists groups threatening the internal stability of these countries. In such a context “Burkina Faso’s model of   religious coexistence, which draws on a history of civil  peace, diversity and tradition, remains robust. ” 3  Although “ tensions are beginning to appear and to erode the model of tolerance” 4  the model is still an asset. 3. Burkina Faso’s p opulation has doubled since 1985 and its current growth rate is 3.03%. More than 3/4 of the population live in rural areas and most urbanites work in the informal sector. 1  Other ethnic groups include the Fulani (8.4%), the Gurma (6.8%), the Bobo (4.8%), the Gurunsi (4.5%), the Senufo (4.4%) and the Bissa (3.9%). CIA 2  BTI https://www.bti  consulted on February,21st,2017. 3  BTI 2016 Burkina Faso Country Report op. cit. 4  International Crisis Group: Burkina Faso: Preserving the Religious Balance Africa Report N°240 | 6 September 2016:  consulted on February 15th,2017.  Page 2  of 14   Though rural-urban migration has been high in the last 20 years 5 , the economy was little or not diversified 6 . Migration t o other countries, mostly Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana has also always been   part of income strategy of Burkinabe rural families. Remittances are important part of families’ income in Burkina Faso. Their impact on household poverty is clearly gendered, with remittances sent by women as well as those received by female household headed receivers working better to improve families’ wellbeing 7 . 4. More than 35% of the GDP comes from the agriculture sector, which is mainly rain fed and therefore highly dependent on rainfall, subjected to sharp fluctuations in the entire Sahel. Studies suggests that Burkina Faso may experience an increase in its poverty rate, if future rainfall is to decline as predicted 8 . Two products (Gold for 80% followed by cotton, BF being the first producer of west Africa) represents almost 100% of the country’s exportations. Economic growth, Poverty trends and inequalities 5. By all metrics, Burkina Faso is one of these resource poor low-income countries where poverty and social exclusion are extensive and structurally ingrained. HDI is very low (0.402, rank 183/188 in 2014), poverty incidence is still high (P0=40.1%) and its severity is extreme. Some 92% of the  poor live in rural areas. Economic growth, though at a low pace has been sustained for the last 20 years but has never been very inclusive . Income inequality is decreasing (Gini coefficient dropped from 50.7 in 1990, to 39.8 in 2009 and eventually to 35.3 in 2014) 9  but Gender inequality is  persistent (HDI value for women is 0.376) and deeply rooted in the social fabric. Indeed, in Burkina Faso “ social exclusion is severe and structurally reinforced, especially in rural areas and for women.” 10   Human development 6. Burkina Faso’s 2014 HDI  is lower than the average for countries in the low human development group (0.505) and lower than the Sub- Saharan Africa’s average (0.518). When assessed again comparable Sahelian countries Burkina Faso is doing better than Chad (ranked 185) and Niger 5  Reversal migration from Ouagadougou to rural areas has also been documented, but the magnitude and the impact of this later trend has also been questioned. Nielsen, J. Ø., D'haen, S. A. L. 2015. Discussing rural-to-urban migration reversal in contemporary sub Saharan Africa: The case of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. THESys Discussion Paper No. 2015-1. Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Pp. 1-21.  consulted on February 24th, 2017 at 5.00 pm 6  According to Michael Grimm,1 Claude Wetta,2 and Aude Nikiema3 “in Burkina Faso growth had basic ally two sources: first, a massive migration of people from the rural agricultural sector to the urban informal sector and, second, agricultural production of food crops and cotton both fuelled by a massive expansion of cultivable land.”   7  Impact of migration remittances on household welfare: Does gender matter? Evidence from Burkina Faso Soazic Elise Wang Sonne ∗ 1 United Nations University-Maastricht Economics and social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) { Boschstraat 24, 6211 AX, Maastricht, Limburg, The Netherlands, Pays-Bas. consulted on February 25th, 2017 at 6.00 pm. 8  AGRODEP Working Paper 0008 November 2014 Rainfall and Economic Growth and Poverty: Evidence from Senegal and Burkina Faso François Joseph Cabra  9  World Bank data quoted by IMF report No. 14/230 BURKINA FASO July 2014. 10  BTI op.cit.  Page 3  of 14   (ranked 187) but less than Mali (ranked 179). The country’s  HDI trend shows some progress. For example, between 2005 and 2014, the HDI value increased from 0.324 to 0.402, an increase of 24.2 percent or an average annual increase of about 2.43 percent. On a longer term, (1980-2014), changes in indicators of HDI’s components  have been uneven: life expectancy at birth increased  by 12.7 years, mean years of schooling by only 0.1 years, expected years of schooling by 6.6 years and GNI per capita’s raise was about 90.3%. Poverty Profile 7. In 2014, the national average incidence of poverty, is 40.1% with a depth of poverty of 9.7% and severity of 3.3%. Compared to its level of 46.7% in 2009-2010, poverty rate has decreased by 14% (7 percentages point) 11 . Not only poverty ratio has declined in both rural and urban areas, but its features have changed: the depth of poverty has declined significantly (from 15.1 to 9.7%) and its severity has decreased sharply (6.7% to 3.3%) this latter metric reflecting the noticeable reduction of inequalities among the poor. However, national averages hide enormous disparities such as those between the urban areas with considerably lower poverty rate (P0=13.7%) and the rural areas where it is massive (P0=47.5%). Rural poverty that contributes for 92% to the national incidence of poverty, account also for 93.4% of the depth of poverty and 94.0% of its severity. Regional disparities remain important although, inequalities measured by different indicators (the ratios of dispersion, quintiles and the Gini index) are consistently showing that that the inequalities are mainly intra-regional. The Central East region (which includes Ouagadougou) with a poverty rate of 9.3% is four times less poor than the national average and is even less poor than the urban average. The Sahel (21%), the Cascades (22%) and the Hauts-Bassins (34%) are well below the national average. The regions with the highest poverty rates are the North (70.4%), the Boucle du Mouton (59.7%) and the Center-Ouest (51. 7%). 9. Household level analysis of determinants of poverty indicates that large households are the most affected 12 . The likelihood of being poor increases with number of people in the household. As soon as the number of people in the household exceeds seven, the probability that a person in this household is poor is higher than the national average. The impact of poverty for households of 8 or 9 people is 41%, it is 60% for those of 12 people and more. 10. The marital status of the head of households is also correlated with the level of poverty. Polygamous households 13  have poverty rates above the national average and households in other statuses. The incidence of poverty is 52% in polygamous households, whereas it is only 33% in monogamous households and those headed by widows or widowers. Persons living in female-   11  Institut National de la Statistique et de la Démographie. Enquête multisectorielle continue (EMC) 2014 Profil de pauvreté et d’inégalités . Novembre 2015.  consulted on February, 10, 2017 at 11.00 am. 12  Inequality in Burkina Faso — To what extent do household, community and regional factors matter? Forthcoming in Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 174 (2): 1-26) Johannes Gr¨ab ( Centre for Statistics, University of G¨ottingen, Germany and Deutsche Bundesbank Michael Grimm1 ( International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands 13  In 2010, 42% of married women live in a polygamous union.  Page 4  of 14   headed households are less likely to be poor than persons living in male-headed households. 14   Since resources are not equally distributed among all household members, married women’s  poverty within male-headed households is likely to be larger than what statistics usually indicate 15 . 11. Access to energy is one of the best proxy for household poverty. The overwhelming majority of people (92%) living in households using electricity are non-poor. Growth inclusiveness 12. An IMF report found that “Burkina Faso has experienced sustained growth in the past de cade. Although this is true for many countries in the region, Burkina Faso is one of the few non-resource-rich low-income countries that have been able to achieve high growth over a long period. ” 16  Yet  both Burkinabe and donors’ “perception is that poverty reduction has been slow”  and there are good reasons for this. For example, the absolute number of urban poor has even increased, as the urbanization rate has almost doubled between 1990 and 2009, growing from 14% to 25%! A study  by WIDER also found that Bu rkina Faso “ has experienced remarkable, if not exceptional, rates of growth in gross domestic product (GDP) over the past 20 years. However, according to official  poverty estimates and people’s perceptions, the level  of poverty has not changed much over this  period. Indeed, the growth-elasticity of poverty, that is the rate by which poverty declines for each  percent of GDP per capita growth, is, at -0.54, very low, both in absolute terms and in comparison, with countries that have recently shifted large parts of their population out of poverty 17 ” . Lastly the INSD report on Poverty and inequalities concludes that “national  inequalities have decreased  between 2009 and 2014. This reduction in inequalities resulted in a decrease of poverty, while growth by itself failed to make a positive impact on poverty reduction. Indeed, redistribution  policies, have been more effective in reducing poverty than economic growth was .” 18  Finally when  poverty is decomposed into various levels, namely the household, the community, the province and the region, the analysis shows “that about 60 percent of the total variance in incomes stems from variance between households, 20 percent from the variance between communities, less than 5 percent from the variance between provinces and about 10 percent from the variance between 14  One can argue, that in the context of Burkina Faso, “. It would have made no sense to compare female heads of households with male heads of households. A woman is head of household because she has no husband, or the husband is absent, while the male head of household has one or several wives.”  SIDA. Sigrun Helmfrid. A Profile on Gender Relations Towards Gender Equality in Burkina Faso. March 2004. Page 45 . Consulted on February 10th,2017 at 10.00 am. 15 Nathalie Guilbert et Rachael Pierotti. Dynamiques intra-ménages et conception des programmes de protection sociale : Le cas des ménages polygames du Nord du Burkina Faso. consulted on February 14,2017 at 3.00 pm. 16  IMF Country Report BURKINA FASO July 2014. .  Consulted on February,14 th  2017 at 11.00 am 17 WIDER Working Paper 2014/124 Burkina Faso Shipping around the Malthusian trap Michael Grimm,1 Claude Wetta,2 and Aude Nikiema3 18  INS. Enquête multisectorielle continue (EMC) 2014 Profil de pauvreté et d’inégalités .  consulted on February,17th,2017 at 2.00 pm  Page 5  of 14   (agro- climatic) regions.” 19  Household level is also where gender based discrimination is most at  play. 13. A political economy analysis of growth in Burkina Faso 20 , using institution theory framework suggested that the growth pattern was without trickle down effect because it lacked structural transformation. The authors of the study noted that “even if the average income per capita more than doubled since independence, the pattern of growth has not been inclusive, due to high inequality (the Gini index estimate was 0.46 in 2003). The figures about the incidence of poverty are a topic of heated debate for a re-assessment of the data; similar debates arose about the 2009-2010 survey. () … The global picture is more likely to be a stability of the poverty incidence than a significant decrease.”  Other authors 21  have challenged the “Bur  kina Growth-Poverty-Paradox ”  arguing also on poverty measurement methodology ground that between 1994-2003 poverty did decrease by 9 percentage points while inequality was increasing. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that, by and large economic growth, was not inclusive in Burkina Faso on the long period, as the same authors recognize that “ over the entire 20-year period the country achieved a meagre growth-elasticity of poverty of less than -0.6 per cent. This is very low by international standards and means that Burkina Faso may still need a long time to eradicate poverty”  14. It was also argued that the rapid demographic growth makes it more difficult to reduce income  poverty ratios and puts further demand on public resources for social transfers 22 . For the IMF, even if growth does not work well for the poor “t he perception of a lack of inclusive growth in recent years has been exacerbated by a boom in gold production. Whereas cotton accounted for 80% of exports and gold production was non-existent a decade ago, gold now accounts for almost 80% of exports. ” 23  Because sharing of gold export driven growth can done only by collecting fiscal revenue, the issue may be all about public expenditure pattern and its constraint. This suggests that the PRSP and other poverty reduction policies -that were gender blind in almost all their component- did not really work either to reduce poverty incidence and we know that cotton export driven growth was not working for women. Women ’s status and gender  based discrimination 19  Inequality in Burkina Faso — To what extent do household, community and regional factors matter? Forthcoming in Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), 174 (2): 1-26) Johannes Gr¨ab ( Centre for Statistics, University of G¨ottingen, Germany and Deutsche Bundesbank Michael Grimm1 ( International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands 20 Estelle KOUSSOUBE Augustin LOADA Gustave NEBIE Marc RAFFINOT: Political Economy of growth and poverty in Burkina Faso: Power, Institutions and Rents. Document de travail DT2014/01 Université de Paris Dauphine, DIAL, IRD consulted on February 14th,2017 at 11.00 am.. 21  Michael Grimm* and Isabel Günther** Growth and Poverty in Burkina Faso a Reassessment of the Paradox * University of Gottingen, DIW Berlin, DIAL Paris, ** University of Gottingen, 22  WIDER Working Paper 2014/124 Burkina Faso Shipping around the Malthusian trap Michael Grimm,1 Claude Wetta,2 and Aude Nikiema3 October 2014. They propose the following high level explanation “ key obstacles preventing large-scale escape from poverty are very high population growth combined with the absence of major technological change in agriculture and any significant structural transformation of the urban economy “   23  IMF op. cit.
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