The eradication of poverty is one of the major targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and it will remain a focus of the post-2015 development agenda. the proposed first target of the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seeks to “end poverty everywhere” by 2030 by bringing to zero the of people living in extreme poverty, i.e. with less than US dollar 1.25 a day, and cutting at least by half the percentage of people living below national poverty lines. Parallel to this process, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary in 2013, the African Union launched its Agenda 2063 as “a global strategy to optimize the use of Africa’s resource for the benefits of all Africans”. the elimination of poverty lies at the heart of Agenda 2063.
While other regions particularly Asia made considerable progress in the past 20 years, it seems far less obvious that growth in African countries will translate into comparable degrees of poverty reduction.
The African Futures Project, a partnership between the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures at the University of Denver, recently released their forecast on the prospects for poverty reduction in Africa until 2063. Their analysis suggests that many African states are unlikely to fulfil the SDG poverty targets by 2030. The authors argue in favour of setting a goal that would see African states achieving a target of reducing extreme poverty to below twenty per cent by 2030, and to below three per cent by 2063. Because of the
significant differences between drivers of poverty in different African states, and the wide variety of policy measures needed to effectively reduce poverty in different contexts, the authors further recommend that the AU consider setting additional country level targets in order to meet the
specific needs of member countries.
Dr. Jakkie Cilliers, Executive Director of ISS, will present the findings of the research project, part-funded by Hanns Seidel Foundation. He will enter in discussion with representatives from the EU and civil society on development prospects for Africa and associated policy proposals.
ECDPM’s Damien Helly will be a discussant.