UN panel suggests measures to end poverty in Africa

Sharm El Sheikh- Egypt (PANA) -- African leaders, meeting here to discuss initiat ives to bolster the alleviation of poverty in the continent, have endorsed a spe c ial report compiled by a high-level panel on how to achieve the set of developme n t targets, officials said here Tuesday.
The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Africa Steering Group, for med by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to steer Africa towards prosperity, h as recommended that the world invests US$ 72 billion every year to back measures to end poverty in Africa.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said putting an end to poverty in Africa was not a favour but an imperative that the rest of the world had to live with, to e n sure world peace.
"Support for Africa 's development is not just a moral imperative; it is an inve stment in world security.
The world cannot fail to support Africa to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," he said moments before launching a report p resented by the UN panel.
The panel consists of the African Union, the European Commission, the World Bank , the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Islamic Development Group, the Orga n isation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the African Develop m ent Bank.
Kikwete said the recommendations made by the top executives of the world's key d evelopment organisations provided practical measures capable of tackling poverty in Africa.
"It does not provide a one-size-fits-all.
It offers a valuable tool against pove rty and identifies how they can help us to reach the levels," he said.
The experts advocated for a gradual increment in aid to Africa, with a target of providing about US$ 72 billion a year to Africa to help eliminate poverty.
"We are at the mid-point towards 2015.
We are passing through the half-way mark and progress is off-track," said Asha-Rose Migiro, the UN Deputy Secretary Gener a l.
Migiro said the report has provided the first ever "feasible" costing of what it would take to enable African states to deliver on measures to cut poverty by el i minating infant deaths, increasing agricultural production to eliminate starvati o n and hunger among others.
"The report is unprecedented in many aspects.
It has provided the links and acti ons required in the facilitation of trade and offers practical solutions," she a d ded.
African Union Commissioners welcome the report, which has been endorsed at the o n-going African Union (AU) Summit , which kicked off Monday with over 30 heads o f state in attendance.
AU Commission Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha said the recommendations made o n ways of increasing Africa's ability to overcome poverty, had been proved by th e recent developments in several African countries, including Rwanda, Tanzania an d Malawi.
"We need the right programmes to support the right programmes, that is why there has been a two-thirds reduction in malaria deaths in several African countries a nd it has been shown by Malawi 's advancement from food scarcity to a bumper har v est.
Our challenge is to capitalise on the momentum to achieve the green revolut i on," the AU official said.
He said African states required the world's richest states, set to meet in Japan next week, to consider implementing past pledges to offer increased aid to Afri c a.
"Africa needs more funds, that is why we must ensure that our message is heard d uring the Group of Eight (G8) (meeting) next week," the AU official said.

01 july 2008 15:11:00




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