2. Ghana, Ethiopia, and Africaâ€™s success stories
Viewed through the unflattering lens of bad governance, Africaâ€™s less-than-stellar performance on poverty reduction during the financial crisis makes sense, says Steer. The continentâ€™s poverty rate has dropped only 12 percent in the past 18 years. Infant mortality has barely fallen at all.
But the first decade of the new millennium hasnâ€™t been a complete wash for the earthâ€™s oldest continent, Hay says.
"Sub-Saharan [Africa] is moving more slowly, but itâ€™s moving,â€ť he offered.
The West African nation of Ghana stands out as a success story. It's cut hunger levels by 75 percent since 1990.
Across the continent, in Ethiopia, the percentage of people scraping by on $1.25 a day cascaded from 60 percent to 16 percent.