Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Botswana still uncertain about prospects of achieving MDGs

Hardly sixty days before the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit, which is due in September 2010 for evaluating the state of the world’s achievement of all the universal MDG targets’, Botswana’s chances of successful realization of the goals she had set herself through the Vision 2016 declaration remain uncertain.

This follows the UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa’s annual Regional Management Team Meeting in Ghana (14-17 July), where the region’s economic and development gains over the past decade was examined. Part of the business of the forum was to look into ways of achieving a development breakthrough for Africa.

Dr Collie Monkge, Vision 2016 Coordinator, acknowledged to the Telegraph that as for Botswana, although the country has made some progress in some of the MDGs, there are very serious challenges that have to be surmounted.

“For example, take the issue of universal access to education for all, it is common knowledge that on paper a lot has been done, but on the ground the quality of education being offered still leaves a lot to be desired,” explained Monkge.

He said that the statistics of dropouts and the results of end of school examinations at both primary and secondary levels speak volumes in terms of what type of society and future our education outcomes could be preparing.

Monkge highlighted the general performance of students in math’s and science as very disappointing, adding that given the universal significance of the two subjects in determining the potential to cope with science and technological subjects, it meant that innovation without a sufficiently learned population would be inconceivable.

In relation to poverty eradication, the Vision 2016 Coordinator argued that even though there was drastic level reduction in the past 28 years from 67% to 28% now, when disaggregating the population figures it emerges that certain districts tend to exhibit alarmingly high levels of poverty.

According to Monkge, statistics showed that most of the population in the Southern part of the country may be living well the below poverty datum line.

On that basis, Monkge expressed the view that every opportunity must seize by Government and the general society to build on the already existing achievements.

At the Ghana Meeting a frank examination was made of both the advances and the challenges that lie ahead for African countries.

UNDP and a host of representatives from regional institutions, African governments and UN agencies identified opportunities for putting Africa on a sustainable, equitable and high-growth development path in the context of these new and existing challenges.


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