The recent article by David Pilling highlights the oversight of micro-entrepreneurs in regions often neglected by large businesses when addressing poverty in Africa. While large corporations have been a focus, the World Bank emphasizes that extreme poverty is still prevalent in remote conflict-affected areas, where smaller businesses can thrive.
Programs aimed at addressing extreme poverty have been shown to be effective in transforming communities through teaching business skills, leading to increased household income and annual spending. Randomized control trials have also found positive effects on nutrition, health and people’s ability to save for the future. The long-term success and scalability of these approaches were highlighted by Shameran Abed, CEO of Brac International, and Esther Duflo of MIT.
The path to eradicating extreme poverty in Africa is diverse and requires a comprehensive strategy that integrates proven methodologies with the development of larger enterprises to create a resilient and inclusive economic landscape across the continent. Taddeo Muriuki, Chief Government Relations Officer at Village Enterprise in Nairobi, Kenya emphasizes the importance of recognizing the impact of small businesses in addressing poverty and advocating for a comprehensive approach to development in Africa.