The United Nations is in the process of assessing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and developing the Post-2015 development regime. This article looks at the assessment made on the African continent especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were put as a milestone for the measurement of development efforts. The MDGs are eight international development goals which were established following the Millennium Summit of the UN held in 2000. After being implemented in more than a decade, there is mixed results in bringing real change into the communities struggling to reduce poverty. The report is jointly produced by AUC, UNECA, AfDB and UNDP in line with the Decision of July 2005 Assembly/AU/Dec 78(v) was an account of the progress made towards MDG and calls for action and focus on goals the continent needs to achieve.

The report points out progress reached in reducing HIV/AIDS prevalence, increasing primary school gender parity & enrolment, and higher proportion of women in parliament. This progress has attributed to steady economic growth and improvements in poverty reduction, resulting in a decline from 56.5% to 47.5% in people living in poverty from 1990-2008. Public works programmes, youth employment schemes, insurance and school feeding programmes are highlighted as the most successful in poverty reduction. Nevertheless, the report puts emphasis on hidden persistent issues such as income inequality, creation of decent jobs and access to health and sanitation services. It also stresses the high rates of vulnerable employments i.e. jobs mainly held by women and poor youth.

Action is urged on efforts to improve the creation of quality jobs and social safety nets before the 2015 MGD deadline with serious attention on the vulnerable with regards to prices, access and conflicts. Post 2015, the report calls for articulation of a common African position, by making more focus on the productive sector as well as improvements on equality, jobs for the youth, food security, climate change, addressing resilience and peace.

Africa, except North Africa, had the least progress according to the report having met only 41% of the 2015 MDG target compared to south Asia and Latin America. The report describes many countries being on track to achieve their goals owing to the high number of women seats in parliament and primary level education enrolment as well as decline in child mortality, HIV/AIDS, better water supply, minimal emissions and 50% lower use of ozone depleting substances. The weak gender parity at secondary and tertiary levels of education and lack of reforestation plans for most countries are highlighted.

The report advises policy makers to take need responsive measures to ensure the smooth transition towards Post-MDG agenda. Maintaining the successes and aggressively working to realise the remaining goals will help the African countries especially the Sub-Saharan Africa region to bring change that leave positive impact on the livelihoods of the millions who live under extreme poverty levels. Hence, such MDGs assessments can help to see the strengths and weaknesses of the actors and programmes at all levels-local, national and international- and draw lessons.