Africa's development rests on access to quality jobs and social services: UNDP

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Two mothers and their children preparing food, Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo: UNDP

Sub-Saharan Africa must provide universal access to decent jobs and social services if it is to achieve decisive development progress, according to a newly released report.

Assessing Progress in Africa Towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), is published annually by the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Julie Walker reports.

This year the report shows that in spite of progress, Africa still faces the challenges of addressing pervasive income inequalities, creating decent jobs, access to health and sanitation services.

For example, while primary school enrolment ratios exceeded 90 percent in most countries in 2010, only six African nations recorded primary school completion rates of 90 percent and above the year before that.

In addition, while Africa has made some progress in reducing child mortality, with 50 percent reduction between 1990 and 2010 in countries such as Eritrea, Liberia, Madagascar and Niger, children in rural and remote areas are at a disadvantage, due to lack of qualified doctors and health infrastructure.

With less than three years to the 2015 deadline of meeting the Millennium Development Goals, the report urges policymakers to put greater emphasis on improving access to quality jobs, social services and safety nets.
Julie Walker, United Nations


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