Millenium development goals for Sub-Saharan Africa

Millenium development goals:

The aim of the eight Millennium Development Goals is to provide concrete, numerical targets that encourage growth and prosperity in the world’s poorest countries. They were approved in the year 2000 under the UN Millennium Declaration and their deadline is 2015. Millennium Development Goals create a partnership between all the world’s countries and the world’s leading development institutions and it is commissioned by the United Nations.

They Goals are:

Millennium development goals in Sub-Saharan Africa:

This region refers to the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. Among all the World’s regions, Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected for most of the Millennium Development Goals.

Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa has been rising over time and its countries face a situation worse than most other countries in the World: near 50% of the population is classified as poor. The main reasons of this situation are:

The last report of the United Nations about the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) reflects that the region has a noticeable improvement in the last decades in education, in the access to clean drinking water, in Malaria death and HIV infection cuts. The progression shows the efforts made by countries to meet the targets, considering Sub-Saharan Africa is the epicenter of extreme poverty.

About the first MDG, eradicate extreme hunger and poverty, has been a reduction of the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day from about a percentage of 58% to a 51%. However the achievement based on current trends, sub-Saharan Africa will be unable to meet the hunger-reduction target by 2015, its proportion of undernourished population being the highest in the world.


Concerning the second MDG, achieve universal primary education, sub-Saharan Africa has improved more than the other regions of the World due to the region’s strong efforts to increase enrolment. Despite of the improvement, almost half of the children out of school live in Sub-Saharan Africa and the majority of them are largely excluded from education, and most will never enter a classroom. Moreover the region remains with the lowest youth literacy rate (72 per cent in 2009).


The third MDG, promote gender equality and empower women, girls remain at a disadvantage position in education and the proportion of women in paid employment in the former region remains below 20 per cent. Although the proportion of seats held by women in single or lower houses of national parliaments is still very low, the percentage between 2000 and 2011 has increased from a 13% to a 20%.

Reducing the child mortality and improve maternal health, which are goals 4 and 5, are nowadays a difficult task for the region. One in eight children die before the age of five, and more than half the deaths are caused by diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia. The proportion of deliveries attended by non skilled health personnel are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of maternal deaths occur, due to the lack of a proper frequency of care during pregnancy. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that progress is being made and both goals are improving.

It’s essential to highlight the importance the contraceptive methods especially in adolescents to improve maternal health.

Although Sub-Saharan Africa is the most heavily affected region, with a percentage of almost 70% of all people living with HIV, getting infected and dying because of it, and 90 % of all deaths from malaria still occur in sub-Saharan Africa, the region is improving in the 6TH goal of combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases as new HIV infections are declining to a 40% because of the increase of the education among young people about HIV spread, increases in funding and attention to malaria control.

In a region where the biggest problem is the loss of human lives, invest money in the sustainable management, conservation and development of the environment is a risky subject. However, both topics are correlationated. As the seventh MDG, ensure environmental sustainability, is improving step by step in Sub-Saharian Africa the population is obtaining a higher quality of life. The enhancement in the access to clean drinking water has been strong and the number of people using an improved drinking water source nearly doubled from 252 million in 1990 to 492 million in 2008. On the other hand the region is far from meeting the sanitation objective and the population is exposed to the dangers of inadequate human waste disposal.

A slum is an area defined as lacking of infrastructure such as permanent housing, piped water and sewerage systems. In Sub-Saharan Africa it is found the highest prevalence of slum conditions as 62 per cent of the urban population was sheltered in slums, particularly in conflict-affected countries.

Goal 8th, develop a global partnership for development, the aid increased from 2009 to 2010 in only a 3.6% reaching the $26.5 billion. However, for the following years it is expected a decrease because of the global recession that has affected to the performance of the usual donors, in special the European ones.


What can we learn about the Millenium development goals?

Developing countries such as the Sub Saharian ones are in need of the developed ones. Although we know is our responsibility we look the other way and avoid the responsibility. It’s true the MDG was a great framework for the entire international community to work together towards the reduction of poverty but is not serious we are 3 years before the final deadline and the performance of the countries is far away from the consecution of the goals… Think about it…


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