Human Development in Africa: A Long-run Pespective

Background paper to the ERD 2010

Authors

Leandro Prados de la Escosura, Universidad Carlos III, Madrid

Workshop/conference

Paper prepared in the framework of the European Report on Development 2010.

Abstract

On the basis of a new index of human development, derived with an alternative approach the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP 2009), an attempt is made to provide long-run trends in Africa’s well-being. A long run improvement in African human development is found that, nonetheless, falls short of those experienced in other developing regions. Within Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa has fallen behind the northern, Arab region. Since the 1990s Africa’s falling behind is closely associated to the negative impact of HIV/AIDS on life expectancy and to the arresting effect of economic mismanagement and political turmoil on per capita income growth. As a result, advances in human development depended almost exclusively on education achievements.

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