Thursday, July 16, 2015

Is there a middle class in the Sub-Sahara?



I was recently watching the news on one of our local television. There was a comment about middle class in African nations. The commentator said that there is a rising middle class in the sub-region because of the increase of incomes. As junior economist my attention was drawn on the issue of middle class in the sub region.

What is a middle class in economics?  Do we have a middle class in the sub-region?

The middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class

In the western countries the middle class represent a significant part of the population constitute a driving force for economic growth. Credit Suisse's Global Wealth Report 2014, estimated that people who belong to the middle class, have wealth between the range of $10,000-$100,000.

There is a very low rate of people who belong to the middle class in the sub-region. What we have is should be called a center, a concentration of wealth in the hands of few in most of the sub-Sahara countries. And there is the peripheral which represent more than 80% of the people who hold less than 5% of national wealth.
 
The policymakers should endeavor to make the middle class a reality in the sub-region. A middle class can be a drive to sustainable development economy. With an increased purchasing power it leads the consumption to its highest level. Then enterprises would strive to meet the demand. Production will increase and it means jobs and wealth for nationals.

At this point, it is obvious that wealth allocation remains and it is a real issue in the sub-Sahara. In the coming articles we shall talk about wealth issues in the sub-region.