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EXECUTIVE BUREAU – NAIROBI - Session of 7-8 May 2009 - page 11 / 22





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exports from developing countries. In international exchanges, Africa is marginalised since it receives less than 5% of the flows of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). The debt is a burden for Africa (80% of GNP);

  • A significant unemployment and under-employment, many precarious jobs and sharp inequalities in employment opportunities, which do not favour women and the youth. Depending on the countries, unemployment affects between 20 and 40 percent of the labour force;

  • A low level of development which translates into widespread and persistent poverty with an average of 35 to 60% of inhabitants living below the poverty line. Low access to essential social services and public services (namely health, literacy, education, water, sanitation, power, Internet), glaring inequalities with high discrepancies between the sexes, and depending on the place, deplorable ecological conditions. 34 of the 49 least developed countries are in Africa.

  • Poor governance: Except a few cases, there are still many obstacles to administrative, economic, judicial, political and social governance. Some of the manifestations of the obstacles are: lack of democracy, non-transparent elections, lack of transparency in the management of public affairs, the malfunctioning of public institutions, corruption, embezzlements, impunity, and lack of political will to organise “social elections”, etc.

The current financial crisis may worsen the social and economic situation of Africa which was trying to rise up from the pangs of food and energy crises that had seriously weakened it. Thus, with the declining economic activities in Africa and the difficulties in funding infrastructure projects (water, sanitation, and energy), the prospects of achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 seem to be undermined in the various objectives and their targets:


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