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Impacts of the economic crisis on human development and the MDGs in Africa

Pedro Conceição
Shantanu Mukherjee
Shivani Nayyar


The economic crisis has had significant short term effects in most countries around the world, including those in sub-Saharan Africa. Many of the economies are now expected to begin recovering, although the recovery is anticipated to be protracted, uneven across indicators and countries; and may be fragile. Despite the recovery, will the crisis have long term consequences for human development and MDG achievements in Africa? If so, what are the mechanisms through which such impacts could take place, and what is the role for policy?

This paper seeks to address these questions by examining the evidence from similar episodes in the past, and by using a simple framework to assess the long term impact on human development including trends towards the MDGs. Using growth projections to 2014 for the countries in the region, and a range of observed trends, it models possible impacts on the MDGs, and demonstrates how the crisis could lead to real slow-downs or reversals in the rate of progress. Based on these results the paper suggests that a series of active policy interventions are needed both to accelerate progress towards the MDGs and to build resilience for the future.

Publication Type(s)

Conference Paper

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