Bottom of the Barrel: Africa’s Oil Boom and the Poor

This report addresses two main questions: How can Africa’s oil boom contribute to alleviating poverty? What policy changes should be implemented to promote the management and allocation of oil revenues in a way that will benefit ordinary Africans? Chapter 2 focuses on why oil revenue is particularly vulnerable to misuse and has rarely translated into poverty alleviation. Chapter 3 examines the cases of Nigeria, Gabon, Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, and Equatorial Guinea. Chapter 4 discusses efforts by different actors to make oil revenue more transparent and accountable. Chapter 5 looks in depth at the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline Project. The report offers several recommendations to all of the relevant actors in African oil development and exploitation on how to prevent the negative effects of the industry.

Public Spending on Health Care in Africa: Do the Poor Benefit?

This paper examines the distribution of health services in seven African countries – Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, and Tanzania. The authors find that public spending on curative health care mostly favors the better-off rather than the poor and observe that the constraints that prevent the poor from taking advantage of these services must be addressed if the public subsidies are to be effective in reaching the poor. Brief summaries in French and Spanish are included.