Agenda 2030 in sub-Saharan Africa: What the Millennium Development Goals’ narrative teaches about poverty eradication
More than a year after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline, experts and social commentators are divided on the outcome of the goals on poverty reduction. The UN Secretariat and its agencies, while acknowledging that the business of ending poverty is ‘unfinished,’ described the goals as globally successful notably for mobilising the world toward a global agenda; a claim sharply dismissed by many economists. Critics point to the persistent high levels of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and argue that the fall in global poverty is largely due to the significant reduction of poverty in China, India and East Asia. The MDGs’ mixed success has been attributed to conceptual, methodological and implementation incoherence. These challenges, some of which are inherent in the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), partly account for the high rate of poverty in SSA notwithstanding the MDGs’ efforts. Meeting the SDGs target of ending poverty in SSA by 2030 will require a deeper understanding of the methodological and practical challenges that characterised the MDGs.
Keywords: Poverty eradication; Africa; Inequality; Millennium Development Goals; Sustainable Development Goals.