APRM Topics: Socio-Economic Development

Socio-economic development is the relationship between economic activity and social life. The NEPAD Declaration implies that socio-economic development is the continuous improvement in the well being and in the standard of living of the people.

The socio-economic thematic area aims to ensure that Africans meet their basic needs that are essential to live a life of dignity. This includes access to quality education, better healthcare, decent housing, safe drinking water and good sanitation, as well as equitable distribution of a nationís wealth.

Socio economic development is measured with indicators such as GDP, life expectancy, literacy and levels of employment.

The impacts of socio-economic development are seen in changes in laws, changes in the physical environment and ecological changes.

The need to accelerate socio-economic development is vital, in order to address poverty. Poverty eradication may require actions to reduce the suffering of the poor and increase their access to social services. It also requires action to increase the poorís ability to generate an income in order to meet their needs.

There is also a need to strengthen policies, delivery mechanisms and outputs in key social development areas. Areas of concern include education, health, HIV/AIDS, Child Welfare, gender equity and the protection of vulnerable groups. Over the past two decades social sectors have suffered from economic reform. This has contributed to the worsening of social indicators, including declining school enrolment rates, increase in under five mortality rates, increase in HIV/AIDS prevalence rates, increasing child labour, declining immunisation coverage, increase of child malnutrition rates etc. The reversal of these trends must happen if sustainable development is to be achieved.

Therefore the socio-economic objectives are:

  • Promote self-reliance in development and build capacity for self-sustaining development
  • Accelerate socio-economic development to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication
  • Strengthen policies, delivery mechanism and outcomes in key social areas including education, combating of HIV and AIDS, and other communicable diseases
  • Ensuring affordable access to water, sanitation, energy, finance (including micro-finance), markets, ICT, shelter and land to all citizens, especially the rural poor
  • Progress towards gender equality in all critical areas of concern including equal access to education for girls at all levels
  • Encourage broad based participation in development by all stakeholder levels


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