Posted by: africanpressorganization | 9 April 2009

African experts meet to review 2009 report on assessing progress towards attaining the MDGs



African experts meet to review 2009 report on assessing progress towards attaining the MDGs


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 9, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) have jointly organised on Wednesday 8 April 2009, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a meeting grouping Experts from AU Members States, to review the 2009 Report on Assessing Progress towards Attaining the MDGs, jointly produced and launched by the three organisations.


Addressing participants during yesterday’s opening ceremony, Advocate Bience  Gawanas,

Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union said Africa has shown significant improvement in reporting and in the coverage of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “This improvement is commendable and we would like to urge relevant ministries responsible for MDGs to ensure that adequate reporting is maintained on all indicators for monitoring purposes”, she noted.


Commissioner Gawanas further called on the participants saying, the source of data to be used in preparing the reports is a matter of concern to the African Union and needs to be addressed during this meeting. To that effect, she appealed  to Member Countries of the African Union to sign and ratify the African Charter on Statistics that was adopted during the February 2009 AU Summit, to enable it enter into force, and “thus provide a regulatory framework for harmonised statistics development in the continent” she added.


Speaking on behalf of the UNECA, Thokozile Ruzvidzo, Officer in Charge of the African Centre for Gender and Social Development at the ECA, said the MDGs report summarizes the past, present and future of progress towards the MDGs. “However, we must own the development process and strive to keep on course, and accelerate where necessary”, she noted.


According to Ms. Thokozile , it has been observed that progress made in Africa’s regional average, as stipulated in this report, education enrolment is on track for a 100 percent target in the majority of African countries as is gender parity in primary education. She added that, some improvement on HIV has taken place. “On the downside child and maternal mortality are grim figures and progress has been too slow”. She explained,


Meanwhile, Ms. Thokozile recalled that the current meeting is taking place six years away from the MDG target date of 2015. This, she said, gives an opportunity to look back at what has been done in achieving the MDGs. “We need to sustain the progress achieved and accelerate further towards the goals and the targets that are lagging” she emphasised, while wishing the Experts a successful deliberation ” which will assist our institutions in concrete recommendations on the way forward”, she conclude.


Representing the AfDB, Mr. Beejaye Kokil, Division Manager of the Economic and Social Statistics (ESTA.1), said, the MDGs play a key role in monitoring development, with emphasis on poverty reduction, in over 190 countries. “They also provide a framework for international development cooperation”, he noted. Besides monitoring progress, Mr. Beejaye explained that, the MDGs framework sets ambitious goals, creating an incentive for more rapid progress. “The MDG agenda has achieved more visibility from various stakeholders than all previous programmes” he explained.



The Way Forward

The AfDB representative suggested the following as the way forward:


a further set of indicators have to be designed to tackle the problem of absolute poverty in all its aspects;

tackle systemic global issues such as global factors such as climate change, financial stability and security;

Other ways of tracking and stimulating progress have to be investigated. Measurability has to be taken into account particularly for developing countries, including Africa.


Meanwhile, the African Expert meeting to review the 2009 Report on Assessing Progress towards Attaining the MDGs, jointly produced by the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) ends today Thursday 9 April 2009 in Addis Ababa.


SOURCE : African Union Commission (AUC) / United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) / African Development Bank (AfDB)



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