Inequality remains a social-ill for the African continent as well the rest of world. The Africa Policy Circle (APC) has since taken it upon itself to address this problem. APC member organisations think-tanks gathered in Botswana on a two day workshop from 1-2 June 2017, aimed at coming up with ideal structural reforms that would help alleviate this problem. The workshop which was hosted by Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) was held under the theme ‘Tackling Inequalities through Structural Reforms’. When welcoming the participants BALA acting Executive Secretary Steve Pheko said the theme of the workshop was fitting as inequality continues to be a big problem for the African continent. Pheko said there is a need for people to come together to breach this social-ill that threatens to destroy the continent. He further said the workshops come at a time when the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being pushed. “This might be helpful because the agenda is owned and driven by locals who can easily address inequality than the Millennium Development Goals,” said Pheko.
Head of Policy and Advocacy at Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD) Salina Sanou said inequality is mainly driven by rapid structural changes which result in huge wage disparities. Sanou added that education differences also play a great part in inequality in Africa. She explained that while some people receive quality education others get low quality education. She urged APC member organisation to start doing enough to influence governments. “We all know what we can do to reduce inequality but we are not doing it. We all know that the problem is the implementation. People are quick to make policies but never implement them,” she said. Sanou called for regional integration, saying it is integral in the fight against inequality. She explained that since regional integration would allow for ease trade among countries citizen might be able to take advantage of it and do something that bring food to the table.
Farai Magawu, the Executive Director of the Centre for Natural Resource Governance, decried the countries classifications as senseless and contributing to inequality. Maguwu said some countries are classified as middle class countries while most people in those countries still survive with less than $1 a day. He questioned the logic behind this, saying it leads to a widened inequality gap. To address the issue of inequality Magawu advised countries to diversify their economies and move away from mining. “Countries need to be very careful when dealing with mining. In most countries these resource benefit only an elite few leaving a great percentage of the population out,” he explained. According to him, countries should come up with economic drivers that would benefit all citizen equality to bridge the inequality gap.