Middle Classes of India, Kenya and South Africa
"India, Kenya and South Africa are all grappling with the challenge of generating inclusive growth and radically reducing poverty. India has, over the past decade, perhaps been the most successful, generating an average increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 7.8 per cent over the period 2003-12 and in the past 20 years lifting close to 200 million people out of poverty.The three countries differ significantly in a number of ways: India’s 1.2 billion people earn an average income of US$1,503 per annum; Kenya’s 43 million earn only $943, while South Africa’s 52 million earn a much higher US$7,352.3 Nevertheless, all three have achieved development successes without sacrificing democracy; they are struggling to reach the economic growth required for sustained progress; and they need to find effective and sustainable ways to help the poor. All three also face considerable challenges regarding the capabilities of the state, high levels of corruption, and rapidly changing political dynamics. The workshop, set out to explore the role of the middle class in these three developing societies. Across the world large middle classes are regarded as a sign of development success and expected to strengthen democracy, improve the quality of governance, and be a source of social stability. Are these high hopes justified?"