UNDP has been present in Africa since the organization was created in 1966. Our Regional Bureau for Africa, which was established at the same time, today services 46 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa through 45 country offices, the Regional Hub in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and additional offices in Senegal and Kenya.
Having put its lost decades behind, the continent has made significant strides socially, politically and economically since the turn of the 21st century. Rapid democratic transitions are leading to more responsive and accountable governments. The frequency of armed conflicts seems to be on a downward trend. Steady economic growth and macroeconomic stability have returned. Expanded social policies are improving health and education services, including those targeting women and girls.
And yet the vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa faces challenges. As countries in Africa are operating at different speeds, the region’s major struggle is to ensure these advances benefit the many. Poverty rates remain stubbornly high, while progress on health, sanitation and food security have been slow and uneven. Women and youth in particular continue to face joblessness and limited opportunities for participation in politics and business. Climate change, natural and man-made disasters risk undoing years of hard-won development gains, and limited access to affordable and sustainable energy impedes productivity.
In line with Agenda 2030, UNDP is supporting Africa’s transformation by enhancing inclusive and sustainable growth, widening political participation, and developing responsive institutions. We work with governments, businesses, communities and regional organizations, helping countries to develop capacity, share knowledge and mobilize funds for sustainable development.