The Bottom Billion in Africa: Group and Sector-Based Inequalities

13th November 2020
Author: Huma Haider

This report synthesises evidence on the bottom billions of Africa and groups with largest inequalities. It focussed on the groups that are most likely to be left behind in the following thematic sectors: Nutrition, climate change, jobs, access to health (including sexual and reproductive health and maternal health services); education (especially for girls); coverage of social protection and ability to experience civic freedoms (voice and accountability)? Consider intersectional variables like gender, disability, sexual orientation, youth, and ethnicity. This rapid literature review explores group and sector-based inequalities in Africa. Given the breadth of this topic, this paper does not seek to provide any conclusive findings, but rather is illustrative, with examples from various countries in Africa. The vast majority of available studies focus on countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with much more limited discussion of North Africa. Health and education are among the sectors that receive more substantial research coverage in relation to vertical and horizontal group-based inequalities. As such, this report has a greater focus on these service sectors and geographically on SSA.

Suggested Citation

Haider, H. (2020). The bottom billion in Africa: Group and sector-based inequalities. K4D Helpdesk Report 901. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


13th November 2020


Continent: Africa