As I engage people on the topic of poverty in the US, I am often asked about extreme poverty in Africa. I explain how there are poverty alleviating policies that universally apply in rich and poor countries alike. The best strategy I have encountered for alleviating poverty, wherever it may exist, is taxing natural resources. This includes taxing things like diamond extraction, oil extraction, logging, pollution, and land value especially instead of taxing work and exchange.
For those with an interest in understanding how such policies are affecting sub-Saharan Africa, I highly recommend the film below (3 short parts). It compares South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Mozambique with regards to several aspects of natural resource taxation.
I also recommend reading Alodia, a wonderfully entertaining novel about a fictitious country in West Africa, its implementation of land value taxation, and its refusal to continue paying external debts.
The Silver Bullet Part 1
The Silver Bullet Part 2
The Silver Bullet Part 3