Violent Conflicts as an impediment to the Achievement of Millennium Development Goals in Africa.

Dickson Ogbonnaya Igwe


Abstract This paper aims to stimulate a debate on how Violent Conflict (VC) is obstructing the success of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It briefly examines progress with the MDGs in Africa using officially published United Nation (UN) Reports and global MDG monitoring information. It also provides readers with a preliminary exposition on how violent conflicts pose the greatest challenges to progress with achieving the MDGs. It argues that violent conflict makes chronic poverty even worse – from household to national levels. The paper warns that many countries in Africa will fall far behind in attaining the MDGs by the targeted date of 2015 unless African states and regional institutions such as the African Union can put a decisive end to the current conflicts and address the threat of new conflicts. Having presented comparative evidence from various countries (those on track to meet the MDGs and those lagging behind), the significance of conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peace building in increasing the likelihood of Africa’s achieving the MDGs within the timeframe were highlighted. Highlighting the critical importance of strengthening the link between durable peace and sustainable development, it was concluded that the MDGs, as a framework for policy, programs and international partnerships to reduce poverty, must explicitly articulate how to end violent conflict and support war-torn countries (and those emerging from conflict) as a matter of priority and that they must receive special consideration. Key words: Millennium Development Goals, Violent Conflict, Poverty, Regional Institutions, Conflict Resolution, Peace Building, Sustainable Development, International Partnerships.

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JMSS is a publication of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

JMSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.