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UN-backed group issues recommendations on advancing Africa’s development

UN-backed group issues recommendations on advancing Africa’s development

UN Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro
International development leaders today issued a series of recommendations in such areas as agriculture, education, health and infrastructure to speed up Africa’s progress towards reaching the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG), eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline.

Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro and other officials launched a report of the MDG Africa Steering Group – comprising the leaders of multilateral development organizations – today containing these recommendations on the final day of the African Union (AU) Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Regarding agriculture, the Steering Group called for the international community to mobilize over $750 million to help the continent meet short-term needs that have arisen due to soaring food prices. It also urged African governments to work with global partners to launch a Green Revolution on the continent.

While some African nations are on the way to achieving universal primary education by 2015, others have not made as much progress. The report said African leaders should prioritize establishing strong systems to track steps towards achieving education targets.

“Africa as a whole is off track to meeting the MDGs on reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating infectious disease,” the Steering Group noted. “Yet, experiences from other continents, as well as recent progress in several countries in the region, prove that the Goals can be achieved across Africa.”

The report also included recommendations on national statistical systems and aid effectiveness and predictability.

Also at today’s launch were AU Chairperson Jakaya Kikwete, AU Commission Chairperson Jean Ping and AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs Maxwell Mkwezalamba.

The Steering Group – which is chaired by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – was set up last September after data showed that despite faster growth and strengthened institutions, Africa remains off-track to meeting the targets.