Sources: GDP and poverty data from World Bank (2010a, 2010b). Agroecological and geographic classifications from Diao et al. (2007).
Notes: Poverty shares use most recent available survey year and national poverty lines (not US$1 per day). Only countries not rich in minerals were classified as landlocked or coastal. GDP = gross domestic product. Boldface denotes case-study countries. Italics denote middle-income status. Agriculture’s share of GDP is for 2005 or closest year.
On average, more than two-thirds of low-income African countries’ poor popula- tions are rural. Even the most urbanized and developed countries in Africa have rural poor population shares of more than 40 percent. Therefore, as a third dimension of the topology, we separate countries into two groups based on whether more or less than half of their poor populations are rural. Finally, the fourth dimension of the typology is agriculture’s initial size in an economy, which together with its growth potential, captures the ability of the sector to stimulate national economic growth. On average, agriculture generated almost 30 percent of total gross domestic product (GDP) across low-income African countries. We use this threshold to further sepa- rate countries with large rural poor populations into those with small and large