In this year’s report, in addition to monitoring the governance and security commitments made by African governments, DATA has tried to present some of the key sectoral commitments made by African leaders on health, education, water and sanitation and trade. As with governance and security, true progress relies upon partnership and a shared sense of priority.
The biggest challenge in preparing this chapter was a lack of data. African efforts to monitor their own commitments are largely underfunded and data are hard to come by. Even statistics provided by major international institutions are dated and sparse. To this end the Ibrahim Index is an important new innovation. DATA also applauds the work that the African Monitor has done in compiling and assessing commitments made to African people by the international community, as well as their own governments. Further work by the African Monitor is looking into progress against commitments in more detail and, with additional support, its findings could help to access better data for a far more comprehensive picture. Although the picture painted in this chapter is not comprehensive, it highlights the need for increased research and accountability so that African civil society can better monitor its own governments’ efforts.
In the health sector, African governments have committed to increase domestic resources for health, adhere to the ‘Three Ones’ principles on HIV/AIDS to maximise efficiency and coordination with all stakeholders, and devise plans for health capacity enhancement. Four African countries met their target of spending 15% of their budgets on health in 2004, and the majority of countries (for which there are data available) have both worked to implement the Three Ones and have established a plan to expand human resources for health, although these plans will still require financing.
FOURAfrican countries have met their commitment to spend 15% of national budgets on health.
In education, African governments have prioritised the sector by diverting savings from debt cancellation and domestic resources to scale up the number of children enrolled. However, higher enrolments have further highlighted the need to address quality levels and completion rates. To address this, governments have committed to longer-term planning and have prioritised financing. African governments are developing long-term plans that detail financing gaps where the international community can support countries’ development objectives.
African governments have agreed to the creation of water sector plans and have also established the African Ministerial Conference on Water (AMCOW), which presents a first opportunity for African governments to collectively coordinate resource needs, as well as develop a comprehensive approach to financing. Beyond this, there remains a large opening for governments to identify concrete actions that can be taken domestically in order to bring about improvements in the water sector.
As African countries work to capture a greater percentage of global trade, they are addressing intra-African trade and linking trade plans to national economic development plans. Many African countries have created regional economic blocs that can increase their collective economic strength and enhance intra-African trade. At the same time, more African countries are integrating trade and investment promotion into poverty alleviation strategies and improving business climates to better facilitate these transactions.