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Working Paper 80 - Making Public Sector Management Work for Africa: Back to the Drawing - Board


As the world appears to make reasonable progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), concern is still being expressed about what happens in Africa. It is being identified as the region that is furthest away from possibly achieving these goals. It is also the place where the institutional mechanisms for achieving progress are the weakest.

The Independent Advisory Board to the U.N. Secretary-General on the global plan to achieve the MDGs, in its Interim Report, has argued for more urgency and, above all, more money to help African countries to accelerate their efforts to reach the goals. A “front-loading” of grant money over the next seven or so years would, according to the authors of the report, help Africa make a leap forward through investments in physical infrastructure, poverty alleviation, and good governance. The prospect that the international donor community would be ready and able to mobilize these significant additional amounts must be deemed to be rather slim. In addition to doubts about the capacity in Africa to use these funds, there is the problem of competing concerns caused by security threats around the world.

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