New report puts spotlight on Africa’s social, economic gaps

    African governments must act urgently to address various inequalities in the region and push countries closer to meeting the Millennium Development Goals, a new report by a high-level panel on Africa’s progress says.

    The Africa Progress Panel’s latest report, released May 11, explores how inequality is threatening Africa’s economic and social development. Its focus on inequality and call for urgent action echoes similar recent appeals for ways to bridge the widening economic and social gaps in Asia and the Pacific, as well as Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Among the most pressing challenges identified in the report are gaps in youth education and employment, and access to agricultural land and tools. To address these, the report encourages African governments to renew their focus on jobs, justice and equity. At the same time, it says the region still needs foreign aid and urges Africa’s development partners to deliver their commitments in an accountable and transparent manner.

    “Africa’s governments must as a matter of urgency turn their attention to those who are being left behind,” Africa Progress Panel chair Kofi Annan said. “I believe Africa and its leaders can rise to this challenge. If they do, Africa will become more prosperous, stable and equitable.”

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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.