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Accelerating the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Ghana: literacy, the missing link

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The Millennium Development Goals launched in 2001 provide a worldwide agenda to reduce poverty by 2015. Though the eight goals provide synergies for the rapid reduction of poverty, the MDGs have come under criticism for being too narrow and sometimes leaving out critical aspects of human development and well-being. Although the MDGs address some of the most critical areas of human development, one relevant aspect of human development given low recognition is literacy. A critical examination of the MDGs reveals the centrality of literacy in the achievement of all the MDGs. The study which reviewed the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy document (GPRS I & II) shows that the little space given to literacy and the disparities in illiteracy rates between rural and urban areas, gender and socio-economic groups, may be factors responsible for the slow pace of achieving the MDGs. The study concludes that Ghana can only accelerate the pace of achieving the MDGs when greater attention is paid to the link between literacy and economic growth, education, health, gender equality and empowerment of women, and sanitation.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02601370.2011.611906

Affiliations: University of Ghana, Ghana

Publication date: October 1, 2011

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