This paper discusses dimensions of inequality in sub-Saharan Africa and their causes. It starts with a review of the empirical evidence about inequality during the colonial period as well as the post-independence era. Then it discusses the forces that determine inequality change, focusing on factor accumulation and structural change. Next it considers the relationship between inequality and growth, the role of agriculture in the development process, the relationships between ethnicity and social stratification and governance, and external influences on inequality. The paper concludes with some comments on what policy interventions can do to reduce inequality.
Bigsten, A. Dimensions of African Inequality. UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, Finland (2014) 16 pp. [WIDER Working Paper No. 2014/050]