International development leaders will convene at United Nations Headquarters in New York next week to address how to accelerate Africa’s progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the targets the world has set itself to slash poverty, hunger, maternal and infant mortality, and other social ills, all by 2015.
The MDG Africa Steering Group was set up last September after data showed that despite faster growth and strengthened institutions, Africa remains off-track to meeting the Goals.
At its 10 March meeting, the Group will review a set of key recommendations and initiatives to boost development efforts on the continent. The situation is particularly dire in sub-Saharan Africa, the only region in the world where not even a single country is on track to meeting the MDGs.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will chair the gathering, which will include the participation of Donald Kaberuka of the African Development Bank, Alpha Oumar Konaré of the African Union, Robert Zoellick of the World Bank, Louis Michel of the European Commission, Dominique Strauss-Kahn of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Angel Gurría of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
A second forum, the MDG Africa Working Group, led by Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, is responsible for following through with the Steering Group’s decisions and recommendations.
The General Assembly also agreed yesterday to convene a high-level meeting in September – on the eve of its annual general debate – on how to better meet Africa’s development needs, given its struggle to achieve the MDGs.