Joint Launching of the Global Human Development Report and Africa Human Development Report 2016

Jun 8, 2017

The 2016 Human Development Report (HDR) is the latest in the series of global Human Development Reports published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) since 1990 as independent, analytically and empirically grounded discussions of major development issues, trends and policies.

The 2016 HDR was produced under the theme ‘Human Development for Everyone’. The report not only documents the significant gains made on human development, it also highlights the areas where we need to strengthen progress, with a stronger focus on the world’s most marginalized and on actions to dismantle systematic, often unmeasured, barriers that prevent them from catching up.

Relatedly, the 2016 Africa Human Development Report (AfHDR) was produced under the theme ‘Accelerating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Africa’.  The report analyses the political, economic and social drivers that hamper African women’s advancement and proposes policies and concrete actions to close the gender gap including securing women’s economic, social and political participation.

On Thursday 8th June 2017, UNDP Gambia had a successful joint launching of the Global and Africa Human Development Reports 2016 nationally in The Gambia. It was launched by the Minister of Women’s Affairs & Overseeing the Office of the Vice President, H.E. Mrs. Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang. The Speaker of the National Assembly and the Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries & Water Resources respectively were also present. The launching was well attended by UNDP partners from Government, the private sector, civil society, international development organizations and colleagues from the other UN Agencies.

Speaking at the joint launching ceremony, H.E. Madam Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang, the Minister of Women’s Affairs and Overseeing of the Office of the Vice President said that this new government remains committed to attaining the goal of human development for everyone and would explore a range of key policy options and recommendations set out in the human development report.

H.E. Madam Jallow-Tambajang assured that the victims of human rights abuses committed during the previous regime will have the opportunity to know the truth and heal through a truth and reconciliation commission and transitional justice mechanisms. She outlined that they will establish a national human rights commission to monitor human rights, assist victims of previous human rights violations and contribute to the formulation of national policies on human rights to make sure the fundamental rights of citizens in The Gambia are never violated again. H.E. Madam Jallow-Tambajang further asserted that henceforth, laws and institutions will be established to enlarge and protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens, giving the opportunity for sustainable human development to be attainable for everyone.

For her part, Madam Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje, the UNDP Resident Representative stated that the human development concept is very powerful and each year the human development lens is applied to different themes to deepen their understanding of the issues at stake. She said, “The annual human development reports also provides multi-dimensional measures of countries’ progress. The country rankings stimulate discussions on the policy choices that enable recourse constrained economies to make significant progress.” She added that since 1990 when the first human development report came out UNDP has sought to focus attention on a conceptual framework that puts people at the center of development. “In the context of the New Gambia, the themes of the reports (human development for everyone and accelerating gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa) is particularly pertinent to the policy agenda and for informing the discussions taking place at the development of the national development plan”, she highlighted.

Radhika Lal, UNDP Economic Advisor for Ghana and The Gambia presented the key messages of the HDR while Abdoulie Janneh, National Economist, UNDP Gambia presented the key messages of the AfHDR.

Focusing on The Gambia’s progress, the country’s HDI value for 2015 of 0.452—  puts the country in the low human development category— positioning it at 173 out of 188 countries and territories. Between 1990 and 2015, Gambia’s HDI value increased from 0.330 to 0.452, an increase of 36.8 percent indicating significant improvement in human development. Between 1990 and 2015, Gambia’s life expectancy at birth increased by 8.4 years, mean years of schooling increased by 2.1 years and expected years of schooling increased by 3.8 years. The Gambia’s GNI per capita increased by about 11.4 percent between 1990 and 2015. Despite the progress, challenges remain as the goal of eradicating poverty and hunger are yet to be achieved. One of Government’s priorities for accelerating the socio-economic development of The Gambia is to strengthen citizens’ engagement in governance and development with attention to gender equality and women’s empowerment. This will require highly collaborative efforts involving not only national and local governments, but also NGOs, the private sector, advocacy groups and effective community based organizations.

The launching led to fruitful discussions amongst stakeholders and keen support from Government to undertake some of the policy recommendations presented in the reports. 

Contact information

For more information, please contact

Mr. Abdoulie Janneh

UNDP National Economist on abdoulie.janneh@undp.org