Africa: Eradicating Poverty - Lessons for South Africa From Lula's Brazil

Informal settlements in Cape Town, South Africa.
opinion

Brazilian case studies are important for South Africa because we have such similar socio-economic conditions - whatever works here surely can be implemented there and vice versa.

In my continuous pursuit of wanting to find lasting solutions to the socio-economic challenges faced by South Africa, I came across an international relations scholar with a penchant for international political economy, Giorgio Romano Schutte. He is an interesting academic at the University of ABC in Santo André, Brazil.

Like him, I like to look at Brazilian case studies because we have such similar socio-economic conditions and whatever works here surely can be implemented there and vice versa. For instance, when Lula da Silva's Workers' Party won the general elections in 2002 and Lula was elected president of Brazil, the economy was extremely concentrated.

Over the next eight years under his leadership, he set out to achieve two critical things. First, to eradicate extreme poverty, and second, to reduce inequality in his country. It is often said South Africa has the highest inequality in the world, with Brazil a close second. And though it is common sense that jobs must be created, the starting point for Lula was fighting poverty and inequality.

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