I fail to understand why Shanta believes that his argument tht Africa "CAN" meet the MDGs is earth shattering and so so insightful. That Africa will develop and catch up with the rest of the world is INEVITABLE. It will. It may take time, but the continent and people will. There is more than enough room for modesty on the part of those among us who like to pontificate about Africa. All across the continent, development is palpable. You can touch it. You can feel it. You cam live it. The research that suggests that poverty in Africa isn't falling is wrong. Go to most African cities and villages, you see the emerging trappings of the middle class - more shopping malls, decreasing average age of cars, taller and healthier children. Imperfect household surveys cannot capture these developments. Even maternal mortality is falling! Just go to the hospitals. Go to the villages, go to the slums and ask a typical person how many women they've heard of in the recent past who died during child birth. The answer you'll get will surprise. In my own village in southern Nigeria, no woman has died during child birth in the past 20 years. None! Where the World Bank gets it figures, only God knows. But we have to continue to maintain that development is a challenge so that we can keep our jobs, travel the globe and stay in the best hotels and dine in the best restaurants - a life style very few of us can maintain in retirement. It is time we - the World Bank especially - stopped its very condescending treatment of Africa. I am sure poverty is more endemic in India and Bangladesh than it is in Africa yet those societies are treated with more respect by the commentariat than Africa is.