MDGs: Countdown to 2015

Southern Africa has made steady progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

However, a lot more needs to be done to sustain this momentum well beyond the MDG timeline to ensure that the general socio-economic conditions continue to improve.

A total of eight goals, ranging from education, health, poverty and the environment were approved by the global community in the year 2000 with desirable targets and measurable indicators.

The targets aim to improve socio-economic development in the world, particularly in developing countries.

“Africa’s substantial progress toward many goals, targets and indicators is beyond doubt,” according to the 2013 MDG Report.

The SADC region leads in areas such as gender development and health.

For example, of the 11 best-performing countries in achieving Goal 3 on promoting gender equality and empowering women, six are from southern Africa.

These are Angola, Botswana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles and South Africa.

According to the SADC Gender Monitor 2013, all of these countries except Botswana have achieved more than 30 percent gender representation in parliament.

Gender equality is firmly rooted in SADC’s regional integration agenda and Member States support the fundamental principle that both women and men must be equally engaged in decision-making at all levels and in all positions of leadership.

This is reflected in the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development that calls for 50:50 by 2015, and in the constitutions of most SADC countries that provide legal frameworks against gender discrimination.

With regard to Goal 6 on combating HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other diseases, five of the 15 best performing countries are from the SADC region.

The five are Botswana, Namibia, Mauritius, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Performance towards achieving other goals has been mixed due to various challenges that have affected the implementation process of the MDGs.

Thus it remains necessary to define concrete measures to accelerate the implementation of some of the targeted goals. SADC Today

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