Socio-economic Determinants of Life Expectancy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Peer Reviewed
28 December 2019

Mohammed Abubakari, Edward Nketiah-Amponsah, Nkechi S. Owoo

This paper investigated the effect of selected socio-economic factors on Life Expectancy in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Using data on 44 SSA countries covering the period 2000-2015, and applying the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) estimation technique, we found that GDP per capita, health expenditure per capita and education (secondary school enrollment rate) positively and significantly impact Life Expectancy. Conversely, HIV/AIDS prevalence rate and CO2 emissions exerted a negative and significant impact on life expectancy. Lastly, geographical location had a differing impact on life expectancy. The paper recommends that governments in SSA should strengthen their policies on sustainable economic growth to harness its full potential on life expectancy. Also, secondary school education should be made accessible and affordable to all. Moreover, campaigns against HIV/AIDS should be intensified to curb its spread. Finally, governments in SSA should commit themselves to increasing health expenditures in conformity to the Abuja declaration of spending 15% of total government expenditures on healthcare.


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Publication | 28 June 2020