Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Millennium Challenge Goals and Education for African Development

We are in a period of cumulative crises, that is, crises in the theory and practice of development. my desire for a crises free society gave me an oppotunity to engaged in this study.


The decolonisation and political liberation of the 3th world was seen as the harbinger of change, and mark by great hope that we were at the start of an irreversible progress of development. But our has become the age of disenchantment. We are in a period of cumulative crises; a crises in the development models and ideologies underlying countries policies and structures; a crises of know-how as the field of development breaks up and theory proves to be out of step with poorly analyse reality. For this reason African development is increasingly becoming an area of research, epecially in examining reasons for the devlopment crises and making feasible recommendations to make African development a reality. This is also the concern of this research among others

In september 2000, at the United Nations Summits, the 191 member country of the United Nation agreed to a set of eigth Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for the world poor nations. These goals targeted for fulfillment by 2015, have since become a fulcrum for public policy discussions and action concerning econoimic and social development. Meetings and conferences on the goals under the auspices of the UN and governing bodies of member countries, have been held regularly since 2001, most recently at the 2005 millennium +5 summit. The aim of this meetings and conferences has been to reiterate and to reaffirm the commitment of countries to them, and to assess the extend to which progress has been made towards their fulfillment.

Often, such initiatives are seen as global priorities overriding local concern, while in some circomstances, such external aid initiatives are not intergrated into the local milieu. This in turn raises the question, what are the impact of this goals to rural development? Samir Amin on his view, see’s the MDGs as an ideological cover for the neo-liberal initiatives. Who then benefits if the goals are achieved. This research is of paramount importance because, it’s going to examining the impacts of the MDGs, the effectiveness of these goals in Sub-Saharan African development, factors responsible for failures of development project, and the progress that has been made towards their implimentation from 2001 to 2008 in Cameroon rural development. Result from these study will help predict whether the MDGs can be achieved by 2015, and also make desirable recommendations, and innovation to galvanize the achievment of the MDGs in the rigth time.

To examining the impacts of the MDGs, their effectiveness to Sub-Saharan African development, factors responsible for failures of development project, and the progress that has been made towards their implimentation from 2001 to 2008 in Cameroon rural development.

v What is development?
v What are the millennium development goals (MDGs)?
v What are impacts of the MDGs to Sub-Saharan African development?
v How are they effective to Sub-Saharan African development?
v What progress has been made towards the implimentation of the MDGs in Cameroon rural development?
v Will the MDGs be achieved by 2015?
v What needs to be done to ensure their achievement by 2015?
v Is the given time enough for the achievement of the goals?
v What are the problem faced with the implimentation of the MDGs?
v What financial and technical innovation have been made to catalyse faster action to achieve the MDGs by 2015 in rural Cameroon?
v Why has progress towards the achievements of the MDGs proved difficult in Sub-Saharan Africa?
v What are the causes of rural poverty?

This research is of great significance because it is going to show the impacts of the MDGs to Sub-Saharan African development, and also measure it effectiveness in making development a reality. It will examine the progress that has been made in the implimentation of the MDGs since 2001 to 2008, and predict whether the MDGs will be achieved by 2015. It will identify the difficulties face in the implimentation of the MDGs, the reasons for failures of development project in the Sub-Saharan African and Cameroon in particuler, and the reason for rural poverty. Moreover, findings from this study will not only form data in the field of development, but will be shared among development agences. This will help them in drawing up development policies and projects, which will further facilitate the achievement of the MDGs and African development at large. The findings of this research will also help the funding agencies to determine the impacts of the funds they have made available, and the financial task ahead of them.



This chapter seeks to review on the theoritical bases of African development, present what has been done by other authors and what is lacking and the hole in the knowledge that needs to be plugged

2.1) What is development
According to the Advanced Learners Dictionary, to develop means to grow gradually, to become mature, advanced or organised. We choose to define development as, a movement from a set of conditions, that is, social, political, cultural, and matirial, define as undesirable or cause of advers effects to well-being to another deemed necessary for promoting well-being. This is so because the definition of this set of conditions have been shifting with the ideological shift, that is, from an econoministic to humanistic perspectives. This has led to a variation in development theoies as evident from the modernisation theory, state theory, dependency theory, world system theory, and the globalisation and anti-globalisation theories. Each theory have been acompanied by an attempt at providing a conceptual framework to the understanding and interpretation of development problems and which serves to guide action.Weber (1983) note that, development refers to a theoritical framework, while Haas (1980) points to a correspondence between development practice and ideologies. This has been characterize by a fluctuation in tendencies, so much so that, development appears as a concept without pratical coherence. We are therefor not concern with development theories and ideologies, but in examining development project aimed at facilitating the transition process within the development continuum, that is, from the undesired to the desired set of conditions.

2.2) The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
The MDGs are the most recent statement of commitment toward narrowing the gap between the developed and the developing regions of the world. But how realistic are these goals? While goals help in making assessment of progress, they should not be blind to existing potentials for progress. In september 2000 the largest ever gathering of heads of state ushered in the new millennium by adopting the UN millenium declaration. the declaration indorsed by 189 countries was then translated in to a roadmap setting out goals to be reached by 2015. The eigth goals in the section of development and poverty eradication are known as the Millennium Development Goals. They build on agreement made at major UN Conference of the 1990s and present commitment to:
v Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
v Achieve universal primary education.
v Promote gender equality and empower women.
v Reduce child motality.
v Improve maternal health.
v Combat pandemic disease, that is, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tubarculosis.
v Ensure environmental sustainability.
v Develop a global partnership for development.

2.2a) Are international goals worthwhile?
Sceptics may question whether it is worthwhile to have ambitious goals of this nature, givin the patchy track records on the implimentation of privious international declarations. Although goals and targets by themselves can not achieved change, they are worthwhile for several reasons: first, they provides a focus for development efforts and a lens through which to assess government plans, budget, and poiverty reduction strategies. Secondly, they demonstrate beyond doubt the need for urgent action by showing how far progress lags behind expectation.
2.2b) How realistic are the MDGs?
According to Andy Haine’s reaction, the MDGs represent desirable end, they are not a priscription for the means by which those end are to be achieved. They shows nothing for example ,about the importance of effetive health systems, which are essentials of achievement of all of the health goals, or the importance of rural infrastructure in reducing maternal motality. This in turn raises the question, what are the impact of these goals to rural development? Health goals are expressed as national average, rather than gain among poor or disadvantaged group.this means that significant progress at non poor groups, can result to the achievment of the goals eventhough only minor improvements have been made in the health of the poor.

2.3) The Sub-Saharan African development and the MDGs

2.3a) Why has progress towards the MDGs proved so difficult in the Sub-Saharan African?
The standard diagnosis of Africa is that the continent is suffering from governence crises, marked by corruption, poor economic policy choices, denial of human rigth. With highly visible example of poor governance, as in Zimbabwe, widespread war and violence as in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Sudan. Jean Marc Ela (1980) noted that, “Afica is also sick of itself,”one need only mention of the organised blundering by the ruling class who as in Cameroon for example make corruption a system of government. But it is wrong, many parts of Africa are well governed, and yet even the relatively well governed countries remain in poverty. Governance is an issue but African development challenges are more deeper. Indeed, using World bank indicator, there is no evidence that Africa’s governance on average is worse than elsewhere once we countrol for Africa’s low income. Controling for income is necessary in evaluating governance, since good governance requires for wages, training, information system and so forth, and thus improve systematically with income level.

Some anthropologist are going back to the old litanies of ‘cultural obstacle to development.’ More crudely, some go back to the climate theory to explain Africa’s ‘backwardness’ or ‘helplessness.’ Other, with the spectre of Malthus haunting international financial institution go so far to blame the poor themselves for having too many children. By taking account of the interaction between population, development, and the environment, the neo-liberal debate on the African economic crises also resort to the ‘regrassive spiral’ theory of poverty which links population growth to environmental degredation.

To understand why Sub-Saharan African is the region with the greatest MDGs investment need, five strutural reason are stress that makes it the most vulnurable region of the world to a persistent poverty trap;
v Very high transport cost and small markets.
v Low productive agriculture.
v Very high disease burden.
v History of adverse geopolitics, and
v Very low diffution of technology from abroad.

2.3b) Some difficulties related to failures of development projects
v Exteriority of project, that is, insufficient environmental approach which does not takes into consideration the realities of the milieu, and application of inadequate development models which is evident of the lack of adequate knowledge about the real conditions of the environment.
v Isolation of project in relation to, the national economy, the environment and limited time.
v Inflexibility and regidity of project arising from non submision of models of project to the funding agencies, and also, initiators of the projects not taking into consideration changes in the agraria systems, and insufficiency of staffs of the project.
v At times most poverty reduction strategies of countries are not up to the task of meeting the MDGs. In order to measure if they are up to the task, various questions are being raised to measure it. Are the target align with the MDGs? Is the poverty reduction strategy align with the goals? Are the targets substanciated with solid analysis of the needed input? Is the trategy grounded in a long-term assessment of needs? and, is the budget consistent with the level of inputs needed to achieved these goals?

2.3c) How close can a country come to achieving the goals given current constrains?
A four step approach has been recommended;
v First, countries need to map the key dimention and underlying dynamics of extreme poverty by region, locality and gender, as best as possible with available data.
v Second, consistent with the poverty map, countries should undertake a need assessment to identify the specific public investments necessary to achieve the goals.
v Third, the need assessment should be converted into a 10years framework for action, including public investments , public management and financing.
v Fouth, 3 to 5 years MDGs base poverty reduction should be elaborated within the 10years framework, with a key focus on transperency, accountability, human rigth, benchmarking and result base management.
Despite these recommendations, there are still some unanswered questions concerning Sub-Saharan African development and the MDGs, such include, what are the impacts of the MDGs on Sub-Saharan African development, and their effectiveness in making development a reality in this part of the continent? what progress has been made towards the achievement of each of the goals? What are the reasons for the persistent rural poverty in Sub-Saharan African? This thus calls for more research in this domain.

This chapter will focus on the description of the research area, the population, the sample size and the method of sample collection. It will also describes the type of information to be collected, interms of quality, quantity and why, and the intruments to be used for data collection.

3.1) Description of the study area
Cameroon is a central African Nation on the gulf of Guinea bordered by Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Equitorial Guinea, and Gabon. It has a land area of 469,440sq km, and total area of 475,440sq km; growth rate of 2.2%, birth rate of 38.5/1000, infant mortality rate of 64.5/1000 and life expectancy of 53.3. the country economy is made up of primary; argriculture, fishing and forestory. Secondary; petroleum, industry, water, and electricity. Tertiary; by communication and transport sector. The main challenges are improvement of governance especially in finance, figth against corruption, decentralisation, reinvigorating the private sector, poor argricultural productivity, business compitiveness restricted by high factor cost and problems in the business environment. Cameroon is made up of ten regions or provinces.

3.2) Sample size and selection method
Six regions will be randomly selected from the ten regions making up the country. And in each region, two rural communities will be randomly selected. This approach is to ensure that the results will be representational and to aviod any bias.

3.3) The type of data to be colected
The main areas in which information will be collected include; the communities perception of development, reasons for failures of development projects, community development projects, progress that has been made in terms of infrastructural development from 2001 to 2008, community future projects of development, the problem faced in the implimentation of development project by the development agencies and the community members. This type of information will help the researcher to measure the progress and to determine if the MDGs will be achieved by 2015. It will also help in the formulation of recommendation

3.4) Data collection method
The researcher will used both primary and secondary sources of data collection to collect quantitative and qualitative data. Primary source include the collection of data from the sample populatiuon, with the used of interview guide, discussions, and observation. In each community, 10 respondents will be randomly selected, together with 2 staffs from any possible development agency in each community, and from the lucal councils. Note will also be taken on the number of lucal infratructures in each community. Information from the secondary sources will be from development project records from 2001 to 2008 and from future development records, related documented information will also be taken note of. The researcher will make use of ; pens, pencils, note books, tape recorder, and a camera.


This chapter will focus on the analysis and interpritation of data. The data will be presented in form of tables, to show the relationship between variables.


In this section the research will make references to the research objectives, and show the relevance that the research have on development practices. The researcher will also make recommendations concerning concret action in development

v Jean Marc Ela 1980, Cri De L’hommme Africain. Paris : l’Harmmattan.
v 1998 Africa and the challenge of development. Essay by Samir Amin (Edited by nChris Uroh) Ibadan: Hope publication
v 2000a “Economic Globalisation and Political Universalism: Conflicting issues” Jounal of world system research, vol.1, No3, Fall/Winter 2000. pp581-622.
v 1993. “ La Polarisation des Mondes ». Entretien avec Samir Amin.
v 1996. « Economic and Political Distortions in the modern World »
v 2001a. “Imperialism and Globalisation” monthly review press. Vol.53. 2 June 2001.
v 1994a. “Africa Beyond Crises and adjustments” CODESRIA Bulletin, No 1, 1991
v 1980, Haas and David “Ideologies of social Development” in international journal of contemporary sociology. Vol.No 1 and 2.
v 1994, Aragon, “Building regional capacity for sustainable development in the Amazon” social development challenge and strategies. Rio de Janeriro: UFRJ:EICOS;
v 1988, Ekeh P “development theory and the African Predicament” in African development. Vol. No XIII. No 2.
v 1983, Weber, “la developpement concept, doctrine ou ideologie” in couty, le developpement ideologie et practique

No comments:

Post a Comment