This book seeks to achieve a balance, describing challenges that are being faced as well as developments that are underway. It seeks a balance in terms of the voices heard, including not just voices of the North commenting on the South, but voices from the South, and in concert with the North. It seeks to provide the voices of specialists and generalists, of those from international and local organizations, from academia and the field. It seeks a diversity of views and values. Such diversity and complexity are the reality of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) today. The major focus of this book is on SSA from the Sahel south. Approximately 130 million children between birth and age 6 live in SSA. Every year 27 million children are born, and every year 4.7 million children under age 5 die. Rates of birth and of child deaths are consistently higher in SSA than in any other part of the world; the under-5 mortality rate of 163 per 1,000 is twice that of the rest of the developing world and 30 times that of industrialized countries (UNICEF 2006). Of the children who are born, 65 percent will experience poverty, 14 million will be orphans affected by HIV/AIDS directly and within their families and one-third will experience exclusion because of their gender or ethnicity.