Ghana was the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to half extreme poverty in line with the millennium development goal one target of halving extreme poverty.
Prof. Mckay noted at a lecture organised by UNICEF under the theme: “poverty and inequality in Ghana over 20 years” that poverty reduction has been driven by high Gross Domestic Product growth rate sustained by improved government development expenditure, debt relief and increased foreign investment outlays.
“It was the first country in Sub Saharan Africa to produce poverty profile based on living conditions, one of the first countries in Africa to conduct demographic and health survey in 1988 and the second country to conduct modern household living conditions survey,” he said.
"Impressive overall progress in nearly all non-monetary measures of deprivation, big improvements in education, in part due to policy initiatives, health outcomes much better – access to services, nutrition and immunization.”
Prof. Mchkay said “rising inequality is a major concern," adding that child poverty was higher than the overall poverty and was also greater among farming household than any other group.
“We estimate that in Ghana a child is almost 40 percent more likely to live in poverty than an adult,” he said.
“This inequality has risen substantially from the 1990s when children were only 15 percent more likely to be poor than adults.”
He pondered whether it is "always the question of extent to which growth translates into better living conditions for ordinary people…so they feel growth in their pockets.”