UCT economist Professor Haroon Bhorat has been chosen as a member of a select World Bank team that will tackle global poverty.
He joins 23 other expert international economists on the World Bank's new Commission on Global Poverty, which was launched on 22 June. The commission's stated aim is to measure and monitor poverty around the world to "help the World Bank achieve its twin goals [of reduced poverty and shared prosperity] and also track other forms of poverty and deprivation", it said in a statement.
The goal is to end extreme and chronic poverty by 2030, and the institution wants to "hold the yardstick constant for measuring extreme poverty until then", says Kaushik Basu, its chief economist.
Bhorat says he feels honoured to be called up to this project.
"I'm very honoured. I mean, professionally, it's wonderful to receive this kind of recognition for the ongoing work I've done on South Africa, and increasingly on the continent, on poverty and inequality," he said.
"And the opportunity it serves, to be an African representative on the commission, in terms of tackling the World Bank's twin goals of reduced poverty and shared prosperity – that is really exciting for me.
"Personally, getting to mingle with some of the best minds in the world, like Tony Atkinson and Amartya Sen ... well, I feel like a bit like a kid in a candy shop!"
Sir Anthony Atkinson chairs the commission and is Centennial Professor at London School of Economics. He and Harvard University's Professor Amartya Sen are both recognised authorities on poverty and inequality.
Bhorat is a seasoned participant in international economics programmes. This, the latest in a string of high-profile appointments, follows his posting as head of research in the secretariat to the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons for the Post-2015 MDG Agenda, UNDP (New York), and as a member of the expert working group for labour rights and legal empowerment, in the High-Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, United Nations .
Story by Yusuf Omar. Photo by Blake Woodhams.
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