From Global Development blog via Craig Nordin:
Under-5 mortality (per 1,000 live births) in selected
sub-Saharan African countries surveyed since 2005
Go to the blog post for analysis. My point: interesting how opening up to globalization coincides with this. Not arguing initial causality, which is multivariate. Point is: opening up to globalization certainly doesn't "impoverish" along these crucial lines.
This joyous development begets a demographic dividend, which sets a clock a'ticking. How Africa handles this historic opportunity is crucial of course, but clearly this is the best problem yet for the continent.
And what is progress other than moving off worse problems to better ones?
This story is nothing new. We saw doubling of human life expectancy across 20th century (started in low 30s in 1900 and reached 65 by 2000) and that was almost all about reducing under-5 mortality - and that was overwhelmingly due to vaccines, with clean(er) water a crucial second.