Africa’s MDG progress needs major boost

Erastus Mwencha, deputy chairperson of the African Union Commission. Photo by: World Economic Forum / CC BY-SA

Significant economic growth in Africa over the past years has failed to advance the continent’s progress in achieving various Millennium Development Goals.

This is according to Erastus Mwencha, deputy chairperson of the African Union Commission, who noted that some African countries are not likely to meet their targets by the 2015 deadline.

The ongoing African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is perhaps the best opportunity for African ministers and leaders to address this gap in economic growth and MDG progress. The summit runs July 9-16, with the first two days dedicated to a review of the AU’s work over the past six months, among others.

“We need to look at how do we address the problem of youth unemployment, the problem of poverty; we need to look thoroughly into instruments that can address all of this and part of the solution would be to increase the intake in universities,” Mwencha suggested, according to the South African Government News Service.

Mwencha also stressed the importance of boosting regional trade, the summit’s main theme, to generate more jobs. More employment opportunities, the official explained, mean “people will have more money in their pockets. It means people will have water, sanitation and good health, things that are being demanded in the MDGs.”

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.