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Africa Not On Track To Halve Poverty By 2015, Economic Commission for Africa Head Says

U.N. Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Executive Secretary Abdoulie Janneh said the global economic downturn will keep Africa from meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty by 2015, Reuters reports. According to the news service, “Africa was thought to be largely insulated against the worst effects of the global economic crisis but saw healthy growth projections slashed due to the crisis.”

“The global financial crisis has affected growth in Africa, with dire consequences for African countries to reduce poverty,” Janneh said at the joint ECA/Africa Union (AU) conference this week in Lilongwe, Malawi. Janneh named HIV/AIDS, natural disasters and ongoing conflicts as factors also hampering Africa’s economic growth (Banda, 3/25).

In a statement, Janneh said that a report on Africa’s progress towards meeting the MDGs would be discussed at the ECA/AU gathering in preparation for the High-Level U.N. Meeting on the MDGs in New York in September (3/25).

Business Day analyzes the findings of that report: “The progress reports on the achievement of MDGs reveal that Sub-Saharan African countries are still lagging behind other regions, even as the target date of 2015 is close. Though United Nations statistics reveal that many countries in the Sub-Saharan African region are now experiencing improved growth, the region still lags behind on all Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), including poverty reduction. Some of the factors that have hindered the achievement of the MDGs are poor governance, neglect for critical infrastructure, poor leadership, policy inconsistency, amongst others” (Nwachukwu, 3/26).  

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