By October 2019, sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than 1 billion people was among the fastest growing regions with a 10-year average GDP of 7.9% above the global figure (3.8%) – IMF World Economic Outlook 2019. Yet many social and economic problems persist and may be further exacerbated by climate change and the more recent COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated all economies globally.
Despite having numerous social development policies and execution of many sectorial programmes and projects, 40 percent of African countries are still classified as “low income”, with a GNI per capita below $1,025 per year. As of 2015, sub-Saharan Africa had the highest concentration of the world’s poor, with 41.3 percent of people living under the poverty line. An estimated 600 million people do not have access to electricity, and millions die every year from preventable diseases. Thirty-one African countries need food aid, and more than 30 percent of the 830 million people worldwide suffering from inadequate food supply live in Africa. The prevalence of undernourishment increased from 234.6 million in 2016 to 256.1 million in 2018. And climate change may potentially lead to loss of 40 to 80 percent of cropland by the 2030s-2040s.
In order to promote sustainable solutions to all the issues that are discussed above, Africa is firmly determined to take its future into its own hands. Several African countries have established national monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems and functions as one of the solutions to address the above challenges. An effort is being made to grow the evaluation practice to provide evidence for development planning, accountability and learning. However, the monitoring and evaluation culture and systems are not fully developed and exploited for decision making and learning in most African countries.
The Agenda 2063 provides a unique opportunity to give a renewed role and purpose to evaluation through the following principles: