C. Development of Africa
Africa made significant development strides in the past year. Its economic dynamism is attributable to strengthened economic and political governance as well as an improved business climate and increased foreign capital flows, particularly from Africa’s new and emerging development partners. While these developments have reduced poverty levels and created a burgeoning African middle class, the continent continues to face significant challenges. Its economic growth has not been sufficiently inclusive or equitable and, despite significant progress on some Millennium Development Goals, levels of poverty, food insecurity, maternal and infant mortality and youth unemployment remain unacceptably high. Prospects for sustainable development are also threatened by challenges to peace, security, governance, the rule of law and the environment.
The Organization worked closely with the African Union and its New Partnership for Africa’s Development programme, including the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme and the African Peer Review Mechanism, as well as with African regional economic communities and Member States to address these challenges. United Nations support was provided to projects and programmes in infrastructure, water and sanitation, energy, environmental protection, information and communications technologies, transport, agriculture and food security, and democracy and governance. In recognition of the links between peace, security and economic development, the United Nations adopted a multidimensional approach. It also continued to support the African Union in implementing the Ten-Year Capacity-Building Programme in the specific areas of peace and security, post-conflict reconstruction and development, human rights, justice and reconciliation. At the fiftieth anniversary celebrations of the African Union in May 2013, I welcomed the changing narrative in Africa and pledged the continuing support of the United Nations to that continent.
Efforts are well under way to ensure that discussions on the post-2015 development agenda fully reflect Africa’s needs and priorities. To that end, the United Nations worked with the African Union Commission and the African Development Bank to initiate national, regional and continental consultations with the aim of arriving at an African common position. Progress was also made on the establishment of a monitoring mechanism as mandated by the General Assembly in resolution 66/293, for which the United Nations will provide a secretariat. This step is vital for reviewing the implementation of all commitments made towards Africa’s development.