10 US dollars’ income a day is enough for a person to be categorised as middle class, according to both the UN and the World Bank. Senior research associate at NAI Henning Melber, however, argues that this definition is far too one-dimensional and risks leading the focus of attention away from cases of social injustice in many Sub-Saharan states.

These so-called middle classes are seen as promoters of socioeconomic and democratic progress. But this is an ill-founded hope, based on Western stereotypes. Often the beneficiaries of authoritarian regimes, African middle classes can by no means be regarded as progressive by definition.

Henning Melber, Senior research associate at the insitute.

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