4 things we learned from World Bank Group President's recent speech - including his prediction that 9 in 10 poor people will be Africans by 2030

David Malpass, held his first Spring Meetings press conference as the newly elected president of the World Bank Group, on April 11, 2019.

David Malpass delivers his first speech as the new president of the World Bank Group (Photo Credit: twitter/WorldBank)

He raised several important points at the ongoing 2019 spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group, which is currently being held in Washington D.C.

Malpass discussed a lot of things from the high rising number of  as well as the World Bank's commitment to eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.

Here is what we learned from the World Bank Group President's recent speech:

The world is experiencing an economic slowdown that started in 2018


According to Malpass, economic growth across the globe started losing momentum last year. Based on The World Bank calculations, it dropped from 3.3 per cent in the first quarter of the year to 2.7 per cent in the fourth quarter.

In his words, "The deceleration was seen in both advanced and developing economies, and it coincided with three other warning signs: waning structural reforms in major economies; financial stress in some large emerging markets; and elevated policy uncertainty globally."

Extreme poverty is reducing all over the globe

The World Bank Group President announced that "Globally, extreme poverty has dropped to 700 million at the last count."

"That's down from much higher levels in the 1990s and 2000s," he added.


This does not include sub-Saharan Africa where extreme poverty is on the rise

During his speech, he noted that the number of people living in extreme poverty is on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa in spite of the decline of extreme poverty across the world.

His estimation - "By 2030, nearly 9 in 10 extremely poor people will be Africans and half of the world's poor will be living in fragile and conflict-affected settings."


Malpass stated that this is due to the fact that "per capita income growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is now projected to stay below 1 per cent until 2021." This estimation is based on current trends. If this continues, it will increase "the risk of a further concentration of extreme poverty on the continent."

The World Bank is prepared for the challenge

For Malpass, the current state of the per capita income growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is "extremely troubling, because it jeopardizes the World Bank's primary goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030."

However, he remains positive that the World Bank Group can handle the challenge with help from countries and other global institutions.


"Fortunately, the World Bank Group is financially strong," he said. "And with the capital package - which was agreed to a year ago at the Spring Meetings, and which I was proud to support - the organization is becoming even more responsive, efficient, and effective."


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