Africa Falling Short of the MDG The Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations called in part for a major reduction in poverty and hunger worldwide. By the 2015 deadline, the first MDG was to reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day, and also reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. Halfway to this deadline, Africa seems unlikely to meet this goal barring a drastic and dramatic shift in economic growth and foreign aid. While recent data shows that the proportion of people living under one dollar a day has decreased, the change has been minimal, from 45.9% in 1999 to 41.1% in 2007. And although the percentage of extreme poor seems to be leveling off, the number suffering from poverty and famine has increased from 296 million in 1999 to 298 million in 2004, a far cry from the requisite decline. Africa’s current failure to meet the expectations set by the MDG can be explained as a combination of weak economic and political systems. The GDP growth of all the African nations is
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