The Department of International Relations and Cooperation says there is a "dark cloud" hanging over the possibility of Africa attaining its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane points out that, "Studies are predicting that, given the current trends with less than five years towards 2015, Africa is unlikely to achieve every single one of the MDGs."
Nkoana-Mashabane states that if Africa fails to achieve the MDGs, then the world would have failed, warning that the road to 2015 and beyond will not be an easy one.
Riding a taxi home the other day I was somewhat in awe of the woman driving it. She appeared to be the owner of the vehicle, in her mid-forties, dignified and commanding respect simply by the look of pride on her face.
I am also proud when I see examples like this of "sisters doing' it for themselves", to borrow from the famous Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin song.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says Zambia has made steady progress in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
UNDP associate administrator, Rebecca Grynspan, whose visit to Zambia is her first to the Africa region in her current position, says the country has done well in terms of working towards meeting the MDGs by the year 2015.
The Zimbabwean Government says all United Nations country team agencies should direct financial assistance to government through the fiscus rather than the current scenario where various disbursements modalities are being used.
Chief secretary to Cabinet and President Robert Mugabe, Misheck Sibanda, points out that Zimbabwe is no longer a classic humanitarian case, hence more financial and technical assistance should now be channelled towards developmental programmes.
Planning Minister, Trevor Manuel, says South Africa has failed to deliver quality services to the poor, despite adequate funding.
Manuel points out that, “We must accept that despite the adequate allocation of funding, we fail to deliver quality services, especially to the poor."
Manuel says legislators needed to recognise that the quality of democracy should be measured in a country's success in uprooting poverty, reducing inequality and broadening opportunities.
Zambia's founding president, Kenneth Kaunda, says most African countries will not be able to meet their Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets, particularly poverty eradication and the fight against HIV/AIDS because of a lack of education.
Speaking at the launch of the literary competition at Orkney, North West, Kaunda, pointed out that, "If we are going to be moving at this pace, we will not meet those challenges. We must improve on the speed that we are moving now to bring about the necessary qualities and quantities of education."
Debate on the MDGs has recently intensified in both the public and policy sectors. With less than five years to go until its deadline of 2015, and the majority of the Goals seemingly out of reach, many are questioning the design and implementation of the MDGs, as well as the commitment from the international community. A recent summit in New York, attended by the world’s leaders, seems to have done little to provide the direction and clarity so clearly needed at this crucial juncture.
The United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, says strong political support is needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Addressing the G20 summit in South Korea, Ban said that despite widespread skepticism, he believes the goals are still achievable before the 2015 deadline.
“...I believe that with strong political leadership and good policies targeted towards the right people, right areas and smart investment and adequate financial resources, I am sure that this is achievable," he explained.
The United Nations Foundation board of directors is holding a Board meeting in Ghana and will meet with government and NGO leaders to learn and share strategies for advancing progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The meeting comes at the culmination of a year-long effort by the UN Foundation to raise awareness about the need for innovative partnerships between governments, civil society, and the private sector with the UN to address global challenges.