Inequality: Ghana's richest earn more in a month than its poorest can in 1000 years

Inequality: Ghana's richest earn more in a month than its poorest can in 1000 years

- A new report launched by Oxfam and Development Finance International has revealed that inequalities between rural and urban populations are on the rise in Ghana

- For example the Oxfam report says, one of the richest men in Ghana earns more in a month from his wealth than one of the poorest women could earn in 1000 years

- The report also noted that Ghana's labour market for its inclusiveness in a West African region that is male-dominated

Oxfam and Development Finance International has highlighted the inequalities between people living in rural and urban Ghana.

In a new report, dubbed "West Africa Inequality Crisis", an assessment is made on the state of the urban population as compared to those living in rural areas.

According to the report, 88.6% of urban population are connected to the national grid, while only 48.3% of the rural population are.

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Also, the report said, the richest in the country earn more in a month than the poorest would in 1000 years.

The report said most rich people have their wealth hidden away offshore and are therefore untaxed.

"In Ghana, 1000 new US dollar millionaires were created in the period 2006 - 16, and one of the richest men in Ghana earns more in a month from his wealth than one of the poorest women could earn in 1000 years,” sections of the report stated.

"While a few have grown super-rich, nearly one million people, mostly in the Savannah Region of the country, were pushed into the poverty pool over that period, and thousands of those who were already poor sank even deeper into poverty.

"Wealth inequality not only creates a divide between rich and poor – it also has a strong gender dimension. For example, in Ghana, only 60 of the 1000 new US dollar millionaires added to the list of millionaires in the country in the decade ending in 2016 were women.

“Similarly, in Ghana, men own 62 per cent of household places of residence and 62 per cent of agricultural land, while only 37 per cent of owners of real estate are female,” it added.

Speaking on the development, Regional Director of Oxfam in West Africa, Adama Coulibaly, said it is unacceptable the level of inequality, especially in areas like healthcare and education.

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He said most governments in West Africa tend to underfund the public service and rather under-tax corporations and the wealthy.

According to him, acts such as tax evasion, tax avoidance and corruption also often go unchecked.

This index reveals that West African governments are exacerbating inequality by underfunding public services, such as healthcare and education. It also shows that ECOWAS governments are underfunding the agriculture sector on the one hand, while under-taxing corporations and the wealthy, and failing to clamp down on tax evasion, tax avoidance and corruption, on the other. This is unacceptable,” Mr. Coulibaly lamented.

On recommendations, the report said West African governments and ECOWAS must develop national plans and also a regional plan to reduce the gap between rich and poor, with clear and time-bound targets.

The West Africa Inequality Crisis report was written by Christian Hallum and Kwesi W. Obeng.

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Source: Yen

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