We have long known that a person s chance of success in life is deeply influenced by early access to education, health services, safe water, and nutritious food. This in turn improves the likelihood that a child can live up to his or her human potential and pursue a rewarding life. As Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) enters its 20th year of unprecedented high economic growth and hopes continue to rise, its citizens increasingly wonder if these more hopeful economic times will translate into a better future for themselves and their families. This book - the first of its kind in SSA - documents and analyses how opportunities have changed over the past decade in 20 countries that are home to at least 7 in 10 African children. It finds that improving children s access to key services appears to be possible even in the poorest countries. And in most cases where progress has been rapid, policy initiatives have made a difference, bringing services to citizens and compensating for the inherent disadvantages they would otherwise have faced. The findings in this book remind us of the significant progress Sub-Saharan African countries have made in the last several decades, as well as the challenges that remain in ending extreme poverty and laying the foundations for shared prosperity."