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Submitted by Hudson Lucky Masheti on
The International Development Goals for the 21st century - adopted by the global development community and endorsed by many developing country governments - set targets for poverty reduction, education, health, gender equality and environmental sustainability for 2015. The performance needed to halve the incidence of absolute poverty depends on the period in which it is to be achieved. Demery and Walton (1998)consider a period of 25 years, corresponding to the interval between the latest data available (for 1990) when the goals were formulated and 2015. this also produces a useful minimal criterion for Africa. the region's population is doubling every 25 years at current growth rates, so achieving this target would mean that the absolute number of absolute poor is neither increasing nor falling. Adding in an increase in the savings rate of 10% (percentage points) spread over 25 years suggests a target GDP growth rate of 5 percent a year just to prevent an increase in the number of the poor. Only a few African countries including Botswana, Mauritius and Uganda, sustained such growth rates in the 1990s and a resent evaluation suggests that few countries have the conditions and resources to sustain such growth in the long-run (UNECA 1999). The African peoples have realized that better governance is a development imperative for most African countries. They now focus in restructuring and reforming Africa's institutions of governance for they understands that good governance must aim to achieve the "three E's":- (i) Empower citizens to hold governments accountable through participation and decentralization. (ii) Enable governments to respond to new demands by building capacity. (iii) Enforce compliance with the rule of law and greater transparency. The African people have also realized that Africa's future lies in its people, in this regard impressing the principle of investing in people. Investing in people is becoming more important for two reasons; (1) Africa's future economic growth will depend less on its natural resources, which are being depleted and are subject to long-run price declines and more on its labor skills and its ability to accelerate a demographic transition. Growth in today's information based world economy depends on a flexible, educated and healthy workforce to take advantage of economic openness. (2) Investing in people promotes their individual development and gives them the ability to escape poverty. This again requires education and health cares as well as some measure of income security. In addition, African people have identified the need to build on the platform of the Growth and Development Summit (GDS) recommendations to create a sustainable growing and job-creation economy. Some of the other Developmental Programmes for Africa to attain the MDGs are; (i) A single Currency for Africa - this shall integrate the continent, also the creation of Regional Central Bank and African Monetary Fund. (ii) Building Blocs for Monetary Unions - that shall help Africa in negotiating favorable trading arrangements either globally or bilaterally. (iii) Switching back to its development renaissance system of trade dependency not aid dependence. (iv) Forging a new strategic development partnership {NEPAD}. (v) Impressing the governance systems for equitable resource distribution and Public-Private sector Partnership development engagements. (vi) A large number of Low-income countries are now receiving debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries {HIPC} and Enhanced HIPC initiatives, launched by the IMF and the World Bank in 1996 and 1999, respectively. (vii) The African Leaders have realized that "Corruption" can be addressed without ever uttering the "C" word that is a threat to MDGs attainment. The key lies in finding alternate "entry points" that will lead inevitably to the underlying governance-based drivers of corruption. For example;- =Service delivery performance; =Citizen empowerment; =Information dissemination; =Economic policy reform; and =Involvement of other stakeholders. Mr. Hudson Lucky Masheti Kenya (East Africa)