Malawi in top twenty African countries making progress on MDGs
Addis Abbeba, ETHIOPIA. 27 May 2013 - In its joint publication, The MDG report 2013: Assessing progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals, the African Union Commission (AUC), UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), UN Development Program (UNDP), and the African Development Bank group include Malawi in its rating of the 20 best performing countries in making progress on a number of goals and targets referring to the MDGs.
“Globally in 2012, 15 of the 20 countries which made the greatest progress on the MDGs were from Africa. Countries such as Benin, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Malawi and Rwanda are making impressive progress on attaining the MDGs by 2015.”
The report concludes however that, despite Africa’s impressive economic performance over the past decade, its rate of poverty reduction is insufficient to reach the target of halving extreme poverty by 2015.
The theme of the report – food insecurity – is extremely important because of the insights it provides us on “how this phenomenon impacts other MDGs, particularly health-related goals, and how concerted efforts to improve agriculture, food distribution and nutrition would fast-track progress towards other MDGs.”
The publication also states that climate-related shocks due to extreme weather conditions have destroyed livelihoods and aggravated Africa’s food insecurity, leading to a high number of underweight children, famine and poor dietary consumption patterns.
Since most of the top-ranked African countries in the report are doing well because of sustained, equitable growth, political stability and human development-oriented politics, it is of the utmost importance that countries continue to learn from each other.
“We hope that this report inspires and energizes member states to accelerate efforts towards the MDGs. Further, we recommend that the post-2015 development agenda consider the initial conditions of nation-states and recognize countries’ efforts towards the goals, as opposed to just measuring how far they fall short,” states the report’s foreword, co-signed by the AUC Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma; UNECA Executive Secretary Carlos Lopes; AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka; and UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark.
Keeping the previous facts in mind, the report also addresses the more practical side of things and suggests to assess four goals as “on track”: achieve universal primary education (MDG 2); promote gender equality and empower women (MDG 3); combat HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and other diseases (MDG 6); and global partnership for development (MDG 8); and four goals as “off track”: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger (MDG 1); reduce child mortality (MDG 4); improve maternal health (MDG 5); and ensure environmental sustainability (MDG 7).
“Africa must commit to inclusive, transformative development that reduces income poverty, creates decent jobs, enhances access to social services, reduces inequality and promotes resilience to climate-related hazards,” the foreword continues.
Apart from evaluating the progress and stagnation of different MDG-challenges, the publication offers some key policy recommendations, such as putting in place afforestation strategies and programmes, and accelerating the creation of decent jobs and pursuing inclusive growth strategies that promote broad participation of the active labour force.
Africa is making great strides towards many MDG targets, yet serious challenges remain.
Read the full report here: