Sub-Saharan Africa's MDG Progress

The most successful anti-poverty push in history, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have made a huge impact in the lives of billions around the world.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the following important progress has been made:

  • The proportion of people living in extreme poverty (on less than $ 1.25 a day) fell from 56.5 per cent in 1990 to 48.5 per cent in 2010.
  • Most countries have achieved universal primary enrolment with rates of 90 per cent or higher.
  • The proportion of seats held by women in African national parliaments - nearly 20 per cent - is second only to that in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • The under-five mortality rate declined 47 per cent while maternal mortality fell 42 per cent since 1990.
  • The spread of HIV/AIDS has been halted and reversed.

Emerging Priorities

Despite the above achievements, there is still much more to be done to address extreme poverty, hunger, health, gender equality, water and sanitation and the environment in Sub-Saharan Africa.

A number of critical issues that are indispensible to enhancing human development were excluded from the MDGs, and they have now come to the fore as emerging priorities for 2015 and beyond. They include the protection of human rights, peace, security and disarmament, environmental sustainability and climate change. The MDGs were also largely silent on inequality, manifested by disparities in access to social services.

The future framework – the Post-2015 Development Agenda – will therefore build on lessons learned from working toward the MDGs and finish the job, while tackling a new generation of development challenges from sustainability to economic transformation.

UNDP and the Post-2015 African Position

UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Marta Vieira da Silva advocates for the My World 2015 campaign

Slow progress toward the MDGs in Africa has made Post-2015 an urgent Agenda. UNDP, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union Commission, and the African Development Bank initiated a series of consultations aimed at articulating a Post-2015 African common position:

  • Regional Consultations – the Africa-wide Consultations were held in Ghana (November 2011), Kenya (October 2012), Senegal (December 2012), and Tunisia (March 2013).
  • National Consultations taking place online and offline.
  • Global Thematic Consultations covering 11 key issues - Liberia hosted a critical session on conflict and fragility in November 2012.
  • The MY World Survey which invites people to vote for six out of 16 priorities for the future development agenda.

These dialogues resulted in an Outcome Document of the Regional Consultations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda which summarises stakeholder views from a total of 53 African countries, represented by governments, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), civil society organizations including youth and women’s organisations, parliamentarians, academic institutions and the private sector.

This Outcome Document confirms that health, education, water and sanitation and the environment remain high priorities for African countries. Stakeholders would also like to see more inclusive growth that creates much needed employment and livelihood opportunities, especially for youth. In addition, stakeholders identified structural economic transformation, human development, financing and partnerships, and technology and innovation as priority areas for responding to key challenges beyond 2015.

The findings from the Africa-wide conversation fed into the work of the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which submitted its report containing recommendations to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on 30 May 2013.

The report will serve as a key input to the Secretary-General's presentation to UN Member States to follow up efforts made towards achieving the MDGs at the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly on September 25 2013.

Related News

  • Finland’s Under Secretary of State for Development Cooperation and Development Policy, Anne Sipiläinen, speaking at the closing of the Monrovia post-2015 consultation focused on conflict and fragility. Photo credit: S. Winter/UNMIL

    Africa forum: Call for post-2015 vision to build peace and overcome violence

    Monrovia, Liberia, 4 December 2012 –A major regional forum in Monrovia has called for peace and security to be one of four core dimensions of themore

Have You Voted Yet?
MY World survey

The United Nations and partners want to hear from YOU! MY World is a global survey asking you to choose your priorities for a better world. Results will be shared with world leaders in setting the next global development agenda. Tell us about the world you want, because your voice matters.


Post-2015 Consultations
Global Thematic Consultation on Governance

Held from 28 February to 1 March 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa and hosted by the Pan-African Parliament.

High Level Dialogue on Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Conducted in Gaborone, Botswana, from 4-6 March, 2013 and hosted by the Government of Botswana.

Global Thematic Consultation on Conflict, Violence and Disaster

Hosted by the Governments of Liberia and Finland on November 28 and 29 2012 in Liberia.

Post-2015 Global Conversation

The video highlights the ongoing UN-led effort to hear from people around the world and at every level of society what their priorities are for the Post-2015 Agenda.

Olav Kjorven on the Global Conversation

Mr. Kjørven shares more about the Global Conversation dialogue and engaging people to help shape a global agenda across several platforms.

Rebeca Grynspan on the MDGs and Beyond 2015

Ms. Grynspan examines key lessons learned from the MDGs and challenges in establishing a post-2015 framework.