Zuma: More urgency needed on MDGs

With only five years left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a “greater sense of urgency” is required to ensure they are realised, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

Zuma, who was addressing the third Africa-European Union summit in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, said: “With only five years left to achieve the MDGs, all nations need a far greater sense of urgency if the targets are to be met.

“If Africa fails to achieve the MDGs, the world at large would have failed to achieve them, thereby undermining the very purpose of adopting them in the first place as international targets for human development.”

‘Action and more action’
He said agriculture and food security on the continent could not be attained without addressing the need to achieve the MDGs set in 2000.

Zuma noted that in September it had become obvious that many African countries would be unable to achieve the targets of the MDGs, which were primarily aimed at eliminating poverty.

“What is needed now is not another meeting on the MDGs and the special needs of Africa, but action and more action on commitments already made.”

He said the performance of the agricultural sector and the rural economy on which the majority of Africa’s population depended for its livelihood was directly linked to the state of poverty, and determined the extent to which MDG targets could be achieved.

“The biggest challenge in achieving MDGs lies in transforming Africa’s agricultural sector into an engine for economic growth and poverty eradication,” he said.—Sapa

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