The decolonization of Africa was a priority for the UN during the middle of the twentieth century. Since then, the development of the continent has become the priority. The UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have led to substantial progress, but much more work needs to be done before the hopes of the people of Africa can be fulfilled
The United Nations continues to work through the MDGs to strengthen Africa. Progress has been made towards the attainment of many of the MDGs, in particular those on education, gender equality and the empowerment of women and combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Many challenges remain for Africa, including controlling the spread of the Ebola virus, which, if not contained, could negatively impact Africa's development. Significant progress has been made towards consolidating peace and security in Africa, and strengthening its democratic institutions. But tremendous work will have to be done before Africa is truly secure and at peace.

With the completion of the Millennium Development Goals, the UN is now working with Africa to chart a development path to a more sustainable future. It is cooperating with the African Union, including the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the regional economic communities who developed the African Agenda 2063, a transformative 50-year development agenda initiated in 2013. To help Africa achieve more sustainable development goals, institutional support has been provided by the United Nations to the High-level Committee of African Heads of State and Government on the Post-2015 Agenda, especially in the formulation of a common African position.

Coordination support has been provided through the interdepartmental task force on African affairs and the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa to increase collaboration, and strengthen coherence, in delivering system-wide support to Africa. The United Nations continues to support efforts to make the African Peace and Security Architecture operational, and implement the Human Rights Strategy for Africa and improve electoral management and monitoring.

Making Africa more peaceful and secure, and promoting human rights will help create an environment in which development can flourish in the form of sustainable development. Africa can then build on the progress it has made in implementing the MDGs. It can continue to improve the lives of its people, by taking care of their welfare and their development needs, while paying attention to the environment in which they live, so it can sustain them, and future generations.