A Universal Basic Income (UBI) is being explored for a range of reasons and over a number of countries, from the USA to Europe and Japan. Global consulting organisations, such as PwC and McKinsey, are investigating the UBI as a possible response to job loss associated with automation.
When promoting the basic income model in Switzerland, the basic income movement posed important questions such as:
“What would you do if your income was taken care of?
For the Nature Needs More team, it would be even more interesting to test this question in a country such as Zimbabwe, which has the highest unemployment rate in the world, at over 90%. In addition, Zimbabwe has high rates of wildlife poaching, from elephants to pangolins for illegal trafficking and many other species are illegally killed for local wild meat consumption.
If the basic income model can be used to overcome food insecurity, survival anxiety and family wellbeing issues in highly stressed populations, living close to conservation areas, can this lead to securing vulnerable populations of animals such as rhinos, elephant and pangolins?
Basic Income trials have been held in Namibia and GiveDirectly has been running a large-scale trial in Kenya. Participants are usually provided with small, monthly cash transfers (via mobile payments) and are given full control over the money.
Today, nearly half the population of sub-Saharan Africa still live on less than $1.90 a day, causing widespread food insecurity and hunger. Absolute poverty rates in sub-Saharan countries in Africa have barely fallen in the last 30 years, despite massive flows in both development aid and resource extraction investment money (from mining, oil, gas).