Poverty on the decline

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Statistician General, Ms. Anna Majelantle says the preliminary results of the 2015/16 Botswana Multi Topic Household Survey poverty module shows that, the proportion of people living below poverty datum line has been declining over the years, from 30.6 percent in 2002/3 to 19.3 in 2009/10 and at 16.3 percent in 2015/16.

Ms. Majelantle made the call on 18th January during the release of preliminary results of the 2015/16 Botswana Multi Topic Household Survey poverty module at the Woodlane Hotel in Gaborone.

“We note that the proportion of people living below one dollar a day (currently $1.90), has also been declining over the years, from 23.4 percent in 2002/3, to 6.4 percent in 2009/10 and 5.8 percent in 2015/16”, she said.

On another note, Ms. Majelantle pointed that  the gender disparity in poverty levels which was observed over the previous surveys still persists as the  survey showed that female headed households constituted more than half (55%) of the poor households compared with 45 percent for their male counterparts.

Ms. Majelantle also reiterated that eradication of extreme poverty continues to be a priority area both for this country and at the International level.

“You will recall that the Sustainable Development Goals emphasizes having “No poverty” and “having decent work and economic growth”, she said.

She further said that the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, Vision 2036, National Development Plan 11 and the Africa Agenda 2063, all of which put poverty eradication as the first priority, has introduced added demands for data for monitoring purposes.

Ms. Majelantle also applauded other partners such World Bank, Government, and Office of the President having given Statistics Botswana support.

”The Office of the President, in particular, demonstrated its support for efforts aimed at monitoring poverty by providing initial financial support for conducting this survey, she said.

The survey was conducted over a one year period from November 2015 to October 2016. While there were several modules on different areas, the primary objective of the survey was to provide a comprehensive set of indicators for labour market and poverty.