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Preparing African Governments for the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Nigerians works on a laptop computers to upload music tracks and video clips to the mobile phones of customers who cannot afford their own computers.

The Millennium Development Goals conclude in just one year.  As 2015 draws closer and closer, the development community, developing-country governments and African governments in particular are busy creating the Post-2015 Development Agenda, a framework for ending poverty and bettering the lives of all in the upcoming years.

As part of this effort, in May 2013 the United Nations High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons produced a report, A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development, that will guide development strategies globally and in sub-Saharan Africa.  It outlines five “transformative shifts” crucial for the success of a future development agenda after the close of the Millennium Development Goals. Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Haroon Bhorat, director of the Development Research Policy Unit at the University of Cape Town, discusses what the findings of the High-Level Panel mean for Africa, and what is likely to be on the development agenda there for the upcoming year.

Read the related paper here »

Importantly, the report identifies the importance of merging the demand for growth with sustainable development. The impetus is to grow economies without creating greater inequality. The report highlights this concept of inclusion in the first transformative shift: “Leave no one behind.”  This idea is particularly relevant for Africa in 2014 because high level s of growth accompanied by rising inequality have become a major obstacle on the continent.   In Nigeria, for example, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala estimates that only 10 percent of Nigerians are capturing benefits, such as increased income levels or employment, from the high levels of growth, leaving the remaining 90 percent behind. In his paper, Bhorat offers a number of suggestions on how to promote inclusive growth, emphasizing that African governments must focus on investing in sectors that have the potential for both growth and job creation.

Read Foresight Africa 2014, which details the top priorities for Africa in the coming year, to learn more about the need for inclusive growth in Africa’s development agenda.
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