Top 5 Millennium Development Goal success stories

Ten years ago, the UN gave the world's poorest countries 15 years to halve their poverty rates, reverse the spread of AIDS, enroll 100 percent of their children in elementary schools, and give 100 percent of their pregnant women access to medical care. Now a decade into the program, which of these ambitious goals will be reached?

1. Africa's future

There's one sector where Africa has undoubtedly soared: Education.

The percentage of children in school desks leaped from 52 to 74 percent since 1990. The continent started the race with many of the lowest enrollment rates, but even in absolute terms, Africa boasts nine of the top performers on boosting enrollment. Look at Madagascar – the country was temporarily overthrown and ruled by a disc jockey last year, but has managed to put 99 percent of its kids in school.

“Sure, we need to look at the quality of those schools, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that millions of young children are going to school that wouldn’t have 20 years ago,” Steer says.

VIDEO: African academy empowers youth

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