The curious case of Africa’s Progress and the missing Millennium Development Goals – By Susana Edjang | African Arguments
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that have driven the global development agenda, since September 2000, when Kofi Annan, then Secretary-General of the United Nations, and 191 member states surprised the world by unanimously agreeing and making, the Millennium Declaration.
The Millennium Declaration was both a surprising and encouraging outcome for global progress. Not long before the Millennium Declaration was signed, just the previous year, 1999, world leaders failed to launch “the Millennium Round” of trade negotiations during the Word Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial meeting in Seattle. High, middle- and low-income countries could not find it in themselves to agree a global trade agenda that would benefit citizens in rich and poorer countries. In contrast, the MDGs were aspirational and unanimously adopted. They presented a vision of the world very difficult to disagree with; a world with less hunger; with education for all, without unnecessary deaths of women and children from diseases and misfortunes that could easily be prevented. Despite this rosy picture, however, the MDGs faced criticism from the start. They were criticised for being too driven by a pro-aid agenda favoured by the “Triad” — the United States, Europe and Japan — that with support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) had pushed through the Millennium Declaration. Through aid disbursed to achieve the MDGs, these donor groups were said to increase their influence over national policies in aid recipient countries.