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There are, however, clear disparities among the regions of the world. While most Asian, Latin American, and the Caribbean countries are on course to meet many of the MDGs, most African countries are unlikely to meet them. Even among African countries, significant differences exist regarding economic and social progress towards the MDGs. One notable disparity is between Northern Africa and subSaharan Africa. Northern Africa has the lowest poverty rate among all developing regions in the world, with only 2 per cent of its population living under the poverty line of one dollar per day.

In countries with rich oil resources, investors are not likely to be deterred by inadequate policies, weak institutions, or even conflicts. This “oil factor” masks the close correlation between sound policies and institutions and economic performance. It has been found that while group A countries have generally performed better than the other countries, the non-oil countries in that group stand out as the strongest performers when compared with their counterparts in the other groups. They have the smallest budget deficits, the lowest inflation, and the © AfDB/OECD 2003 Overview largest saving and investment ratios.

More will also need to be done to improve the degrees of political equality, intergroup tolerance, inclusiveness, and popular participation. Related to these, the existence of societal peace and the promotion of an environment that respects human rights are still inadequate as evidenced by the number of African countries mired in instability and conflicts. Monitoring, documenting and assessing the performance of economic and political governance in Africa are certainly one of the major challenges confronting APRM.

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