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African perspectives on the Post-2015 development agenda process

Pambazuka News invites articles on the evaluation of the Millennium Development Goals and the question of the post-2015 Development Agenda in Africa to help readers make sense of the debate in order to influence the UN’s construction of a Post-2015 Development with Africa as an active partner.

Much debate in the recent past in scholarly spaces has revealed the failure of the Millennium Development Goals to achieve its aims based on a lack of focus on historical and structural factors not being taken into account at their conception.

While the desire to find solutions to global development at an international level has not abated, the failure to meet some of these targets has seen a recent revival in African-centric developmental models. While globally, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day has halved (achieving target 1.A of the MDGs) in Africa, the percentage has only dropped from 56% to 48%.[1]

Debates surrounding the reason for such a failure to achieve dramatic change globally have raised questions about the sustainability of such goals: how many there should be, whether we even need global goals or should focus on regional bodies to produce regional goals and strategies to meet them.

The focus on the millennium development goals from local and national NGOs, governments, and international organisations (profit and non-profit making) as a route of funding and thus where their focus has rested show the importance of African engagement in the creation of future goals. The funding has been driven to the 10 MDG’s often at the expense of other areas of necessity. It has been declared as a goal of the Post-2015 Agenda that there will be an attempt to incorporate the Global South equally in the negotiating process.

This declaration provides scope for the voices of Africa to be heard at the negotiating table. This opportunity must be taken to ensure that a new thinking is taken in the production of sustainable and long-term approaches to questions of development in the post-2015 development agenda.


• Why were Africans excluded from the construction of the Millennium Development Goals? Is this why they failed? Or do their successes outweigh the failures?
• Did they fail on account of the fact that development is considered to be gender neutral, despite the fact that the vast majority of agricultural work in Africa is performed by women? Is there a gender blindness when examining “development”?
• To what extent can the post-2015 Agenda transform the role of women in Africa as second class citizens? This year has been designated by the AU as the "Year of Women's Empowerment and Development Towards Africa's Agenda 2063"
• When talking about “Post-development,” whose “development” are we focusing on? What is meant by “development”?
• Is it possible to marry the desires of green, ecologically sustainable development, and industrial development? Is it possible to copy the dramatic poverty reduction of China without the environmental damage? Can “development” be attained without social justice, freedom and equality?
• Is it possible to have one Global South voice? Or even only one African voice? And is it necessary to be heard?
• Should Africa focus on regional or continental goals rather than global ones?
• What is the role of the international community, (including the global north but also the increasing influence of BRICS) in setting the “development” agenda for Africa? What should it be and is it ethical for the North to set this agenda?
• How important is it to recognise the colonial past to address the existing structural and patriarchal inequalities prevalent in Africa and globally?
• Can there be self-sustaining African-centric post-development agenda?
• Is there need for a return to the Lagos plan of 1986? Or does Africa need to construct a new plan for the 21st century, and if so what should this plan look like?

Pambazuka News Editorial Team alongside AfricAvenir invites articles on these and related questions for a special issue on the Post-2015 Agenda Process in Africa planned for ….. 2015.


LENGTH OF ARTICLES: Articles should be written in Microsoft Word, Font: Times, size 12 and be between 1000-3000 words

Please submit a biography of two lines at the end of your article and send it to:[email protected]