World Development, Vol. 37, No. 1, 26-35.
How the Millennium Development Goals are Unfair to Africa
Those involved in the millennium development goal (MDG) campaign routinely state ‘‘Africa will miss all the MDGs.” This paper argues that a series of arbitrary choices made in defining ‘‘success” or ‘‘failure” as achieving numerical targets for the MDGs made attainment of the MDGs less likely in Africa than in other regions even when its progress was in line with or above historical or contemporary experience of other regions. The statement that ‘‘Africa will miss all the MDGs” thus has the unfortunate effect of making African successes look like failures.