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Africa MDG Report Highlights Progress in Poverty Reduction, Primary Education

15 July 2012: The 2012 Africa Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) report finds that Africa has made significant progress toward targets on HIV/AIDS, primary education, poverty reduction and women's empowerment. It calls for increased efforts to accelerate progress to achieve the unfulfilled MDGs by 2015, and notes the importance of an integrated approach to MDGs and the post-2015 development agenda.

Titled “Assessing Progress in Africa towards the Millennium Development Goals 2012,” the report was launched on 15 July 2012, at the African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia measures Africa's indicators against the MDGs. According to the report, many African countries are on track to achieve primary education goals, particularly on gender equality. It recommends increasing completion rates and improving education quality, and urges similar progress at secondary and tertiary education levels.

The report indicates that both the number of poor and the poverty rate declined for the first time in Africa. The number of Africans living under US$1.25 per day decreased from 56.5% to 47.5%, while the number of poor people fell from 394.9 million to 386 million between 1990 and 2008. Still, the report points to several challenges, including income inequality, feminization of poverty and high population growth, which undermine poverty reduction efforts.

The report also describes an Africa-wide consultative process on the post-2015 development agenda, which aimed to articulate a common African position. The consensus is that the post-2015 development agenda should: reflect emerging issues, such as climate change; recognize persistent development challenges in Africa, including inequality, unemployment and social service delivery quality; and invest in human and institutional capacity and technological innovation to achieve sustainable development.

The report is jointly produced by the African Development Bank (AfDB), AU, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). It is the eighth report in a series initiated by UNECA in 2005. [Publication: Assessing Progress in Africa towards the Millennium Development Goals 2012] [UNECA Press Release] [UNDP Press Release]