The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a region rich in minerals and energy resources. At the same time, though, it is plagued by high rates of poverty and extreme income inequality; indeed, its member states include the three nations of highest income inequality in the world (Namibia, South Africa, and Botswana).
It is also becoming a setting of basic income experimentation and activism. Namibia was the setting of a successful basic income pilot study in 2008-09, and other countries in the region have also experimented with cash transfer programs, to positive results.
Nkateko Chauke of the Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute, an independent think tank based in South Africa, is the campaign coordinator for SADC BIG — which promotes a “SADC-wide universal cash transfer to be funded by a tax on extractive industries.”
In honor of Africa Day (May 25th), Chauke wrote an op-ed for the Daily Maverick arguing that “a universal cash transfer, predominantly funded through extractive industries, will be a remarkable stride towards poverty eradication, reduced inequalities among Africans, equal economic participation and overall African unity.”
Through the realisation of a common vision and a consolidation of national interests – with more robust social protection programmes that will ensure the redistribution of of the proceeds of extractive industries to break the crippling levels of poverty and inequality – a unified culture of people will support a long-term agenda for transformation in Africa for the achievement of sustainable development and integration.
Read the article here:
Nkateko Chauke, “An African identity we all aspire to,” Daily Maverick, May 25, 2016.
Image: Copper mine in Zambia; BlueSalo via Wikimedia Commons