Renewed commitment and financing required to spur Africa’s development after MDGs – Report

The 17 SDGs
The 17 SDGs

A new report says after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) renewed commitment and financing are needed to spur Africa’s development.

In a press release issued by the ECA, it says the annual report states that having made encouraging progress on the MDGs, African countries have the opportunity to use the newly launched Sustainable Development Goals to tackle remaining challenges and achieve a development breakthrough.

The report jointly produced by the ECA, the African Union (AU), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), called “Assessing Progress in Africa Toward the Millennium Development Goals”, notes that leadership, innovation and targeted investments in a number of social sectors have led to transformative interventions and in many cases revolutionized people’s lives.

It also indicates that Africa has seen acceleration in economic growth, established ambitious social safety nets and designed policies for boosting education and tackling HIV and other diseases. It has also introduced women’s quotas in parliament, leading the way internationally on gender equality, and increased gender parity in primary schools.

“Although overall poverty rates are still hovering around 48 per cent, according to the most recent estimates, most countries have made progress on at least one goal. For instance, The Gambia reduced poverty by 32 per cent between 1990 and 2010, while Ethiopia decreased its poverty rate by one third, focusing on agriculture and rural livelihoods,”the report says.

Among other things it notes that some policies and initiatives have been groundbreaking, citing some success stories such as Niger’s School for Husbands in transforming men into allies in promoting women’s reproductive health, family planning and behavioral change towards gender equality. Cape Verde increased its forest cover by more than 6 percentage points, with millions of trees planted in recent years, it said.

But admits that, much more work lies ahead to ensure living standards improve for all African women and men.

“While economic growth has been relatively strong, it has not been rapid or inclusive enough to create jobs.  Similarly, many countries have managed to achieve access to primary schooling however considerable issues of quality and equity need to be addressed,” the report adds

According to the report, the continent’s new development priorities, as embodied in the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, are both comprehensive and universal, while their implementation will entail mobilizing additional resources and partners, and putting in place more robust monitoring systems.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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