MDG Progress Reports - Africa

28 Sep 2015

Assessing Progress in Africa Toward the Millennium Development Goals

Having made encouraging progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), African countries have the opportunity to use the newly launched Sustainable Development Goals to tackle remaining challenges and achieve a development breakthrough, according to the 2015 Africa MDG report.  

Leadership, innovation and targeted investments in a number of social sectors have led to transformative interventions and in many cases revolutionized people’s lives.

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. 

Poor implementation mechanisms and excessive reliance on development aid undermined the economic sustainability of several MDG interventions, the report adds.


  • The Gambia reduced poverty by 32 percent between 1990 and 2010, while Ethiopia decreased its poverty rate by one third, focusing on agriculture and rural livelihoods
  • Niger’s School for Husbands has been successful in transforming men into allies in promoting women’s reproductive health, family planning and behavioral change towards gender equality.
  • Cabo Verde increased its forest cover by more than 6 percentage points, with millions of trees planted in recent years.
  • official development assistance to Africa is projected to remain low over the period 2015-2018, at an average of around US$47 billion annually
Country MDG Progress Reports