OpEd, Politics

Citizen’s worst enemy empowered by poor economic turmoil.

By Ustaz Mark Bang


As people continue crying for years, hopping for poverty to end, trying to say I will get rich to do this and that. Majority have forgotten what it means to suffer by working in order to get rich.

The worst enemy of the world, is poverty. Since poverty entails more than the lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Various social groups bear disproportionate burden of poverty.

This has been identified by World Social Summit that poverty eradication as an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of mankind and called on governments to address the root causes of poverty, provide for basic needs for all and ensure that the poor have access to productive resources, including credit, education and training. Recognizing insufficient progress in the poverty reduction. If this has been done in other countries in the world or elsewhere here in Africa but here my country South Sudan, this thing had never happened whether yesterday or today.

Unemployment and underemployment lays at the core of poverty. For the poor, labour is often the only asset they can use to improve their well-being. Hence the creation of productive employment opportunities is essential for achieving poverty reduction and sustainable economic and social development.

It is crucial to provide decent jobs that both secure income and empowerment for the poor, especially women and younger people. Rapid economic growth can potentially bring a high rate of expansion of productive and remunerative employment, which can lead to a reduction in poverty. Nevertheless, the contribution of the growth process to poverty reduction does not depend only on the rate of economic growth, but also on the ability of the poor to respond to the increasing demand for labour in the more productive categories of employment.

Furthermore, given the importance of employment for poverty reduction, job-creation should occupy a central place in national poverty reduction strategies. Many employment strategies are often related to agricultural and rural development and include using labor-intensive agricultural technologies; developing small and medium-size enterprises, and promoting micro projects in rural areas. Many strategies promote self-employment, non-farm employment in rural areas, targeted employment interventions, microfinance and credit as means of employment generation, skill formation and training. Such strategies, however, often address the quantity of employment while the qualitative dimensions, such as equity, security, dignity and freedom are often absent or minimal. In general, national poverty reduction strategies including Poverty Reduction Strategies do not comment on employment programmes, social protection or rights at work. Neither do they offer in-depth analysis of the effects of policies on poverty reduction.

A social perspective on development emphasizes the view that the best route to socio-economic development, poverty eradication and personal wellbeing is through decent work. Productive employment opportunities will contribute substantially to achieving the internationally agreed development goals, especially the Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015. To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. To achieve universal primary education. To promote gender equality and empower women. Nothing has been however; this had rooted it formula of becoming Millennium Development Goal to curb poverty by 2030.

Finally, there should be a focus on creating better and more productive jobs, particularly those that can absorb the high concentrations of working poor. Among the necessary elements for creating such jobs are investing in labour-intensive industries, especially agriculture, encouraging a shift in the structure of employment to higher productivity occupations and sectors, and upgrading job quality in the informal economy. In addition, there should also be a focus on providing poor people with the necessary skills and assets that will enable them to take full advantage of any expansion in employment potential. “Public Staunchest Allies”.

The writer of this article is a human rights activist, writer, and professional teacher.

Comments are closed.