Leadership, innovation and targeted investments in a number of social sectors have led to transformative interventions and in many cases revolutionized people’s lives, says an annual report produced jointly by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union (AU), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), called “Assessing Progress in Africa Toward the Millennium Development Goals”.
Africa has seen an acceleration in economic growth, established ambitious social safety nets and designed policies for boosting education and tackling HIV and other diseases. It has also introduced women’s quotas in parliament, leading the way internationally on gender equality, and increased gender parity in primary schools.
Although overall poverty rates are still hovering around 48 percent, according to the most recent estimates, most countries have made progress on at least one goal. Much more work lies ahead to ensure living standards improve for all African women and men. While economic growth has been relatively strong, it has not been rapid or inclusive enough to create jobs. Similarly, many countries have managed to achieve access to primary schooling; however, considerable issues of quality and equity need to be addressed.
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