The impact of the global financial crisis on the realisation of socio-economic rights in sub-Saharan Africa: An analysis based on the Millennium Development Goals framework and processes
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The global financial crisis, which affected global trade and investment, did not leave sub-Saharan Africa untouched. The region registered a decline in economic growth in the period after the crisis and experienced ongoing impacts. The article looks at these impacts, focusing on the realisation of socio- economic rights in sub-Saharan Africa using the mechanism of the Millennium Development Goals. It begins by describing the major actors that have played a leading role in economic growth in the region, and the realisation of socio- economic rights. It then focuses on the pre-crisis growth period of 2000 to 2007, examining the drivers of growth in sub-Saharan Africa and how this growth impacted the realisation of socio-economic rights. The article uses the mechanism of the Millenium Development Goals framework and process to measure the achievement of each goal within a high growth period. It finds that while this growth created more resources for the realisation of socio-economic rights, little progress was made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals within that period: The socio-economic conditions of poor, vulnerable and marginalised individuals and groups remained the same. The article then looks at the effects of the global financial crisis on sub-Saharan African economies after 2007, indicating that the crisis had an adverse impact on economic growth, with growth declining to 5.5 per cent in 2008, 3.5 per cent in 2009 and then rebounding slightly to 5.1 per cent between 2013 and 2014 and further to 5.8 per cent in 2015. It says that, although the reduction in economic growth had a great impact on the availability of resources for the realisation of socio- economic rights, an analysis of the MDG progress after the crisis does not show a marked difference from the MDG progress prior to the crisis. The article concludes that, even though the crisis had some impact on the realisation of socio-economic rights, its impact would have been greatly lessened if these sub- Saharan African countries had shown political commitment and developed proper mechanisms for the realisation of these rights.