In 2000, 189 countries, including 53 African states, set eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to improve the lives of many of the world’s poorest people by 2015. In May 2013, the Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, convened about 30 leading policymakers, civil society actors and scholars to assess critically the progress that Africa has made towards achieving the MDG benchmarks; and to support African institutions in shaping the post-2015 development agenda. The Cape Town meeting considered the eight Goals to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development for the continent's 800 million citizens.