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Rethinking participatory and decentralized rural development in Cameroon, By Chofor Che, 29 December 2013


On the 16th of December 2013, the Government of Cameroon and the African Development Bank (ADB) signed the second phase of the loan agreement termed the Grass field Participatory and Decentralized Rural Development Project (GP DERUDEP). According to the ADB, farmers of the North West region (NWR) of Cameroon are to adequately benefit from this loan. The total amount of the project is estimated at UA 25.600 million. The Government of Cameroon is expected to provide the remaining UA 8.80 million. As a continuation of phase one of the project from 2005 to 2011, it is expected that phase two will be carried out in areas of the NWR with strong production potential like Widikum, a sub division with a growing potential of palm oil production. Apparently phase two of the project is to affect 8 out of the 36 municipal council areas of the NWR. It is hoped that phase two of GP DERUDEP will improve on agricultural production especially the rehabilitation and construction of farm to market roads in the NWR.

The putting into place of phase two of GP DERUDEP has created mixed reactions in the state of Cameroon. Many are optimistic about the success of the project while a lot of Cameroonians home and abroad remain pessimistic about the project. During the weekly broadcast of Cameroon Calling, a prominent programme on political and economic developments in Cameroon on Cameroon’s Radio and Television Coporation (CRTV) on the 29th of December 2013, the coordinator of GP DERUDEP confessed that the State of Cameroon planned to also involve some isolated municipal council areas that were not involved during the first phase of this project; but the ADB imposed a road map for the realization of phase two of this project. All the same he added that concerned municipal councils will be involved as partners in the project especially as they will be called upon to also contribute some small amount of funding towards the effective realization of phase two of the project.

As a keen analyst especially on issues of decentralized development on the continent and in Cameroon in particular, in as much as the intentions of the ADB may be well founded, the impact of GP DERUDEP may not adequately address the concerns of the population of the NWR. First of all several inhabitants contend that several activities earmarked under phase one of this project were not well executed due to lack of technical expertise. Others claim that a lot of money apportioned under phase one of the grant has been siphoned by corrupt government officials.

Financial aid has never been a sustainable panacea for development in Africa. ADB loans and grants as well as financial assistance from other donor organizations have not adequately addressed poverty and development on the continent. Proof of this is that the United Nations (UN) is presently worried about the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on the continent by 2015 because financial assistance has proven to be inadequate for development of the continent. Rather than signing loan agreements, which will only enrich few corrupt officials, empowering municipal councils may be the way to go. Municipal councils definitely need to be given substantial administrative and financial autonomy so as to take charge of rural development. The country does not have an adequate financial equalization formula, which can curb the imbalance between rich and poor municipal council areas. A council like the Widikum Council in the NWR could benefit from training of appointed and elected staff on the conception and the management of rural projects especially in the production of palm oil. This municipal council as well as other municipal councils in the country could also reinforce the role of women in top management of their council areas. Job creation for youth and women should be a priority of such partnerships between international organizations, central governments and municipal councils. Cameroon is blessed with rich natural and human resources and does not have to rely so much on financial assistance from international donors. If only the state could take some of these suggestions into account rather than depend on foreign aid then the state would realize some improvement in participatory and decentralized rural development.

 

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African bureaucrats to blame for the Lampedusa tragedy – Chofor Che , Published at AfricanLiberty.org, 18 October 2013


On the 3rd of October 2013, the BBC reported that many African migrants died and many more were missing after a boat carrying them to Europe sank off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa. Over 200 bodies were recovered and more were found inside the wreck. According to the BBC, passengers reportedly threw themselves into the sea when a fire broke out on board. Most of those on board were from Libya, Eritrea and Somalia, reported the United Nations (UN). This shocking and painful incident has generated a lot of debates as to who is to blame. Many argue that Europe is to blame for this calamity, while others are of the view that African leaders are to blame for this tragedy.

There has been a lot of controversy about immigration for a longtime. I am one who advocates that individuals should be allowed to migrate in search of greener pastures. Many Europeans or Americans would not agree with me, especially if immigration is carried out ‘illegally.’ According to these Europeans and Americans, Western states cannot be coming out of a recession and Africans are instead heading there to make things worse. That notwithstanding the European Union reacted with shock to the death of these Africans in the Mediterranean Sea. But will the tragedy lead to a change in the European Union’s migration and refugee policy?

“There is no miraculous solution to the migrant exodus issue,” said Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino according to the 3rd October BBC report. “If there were we would have found it and put it into action.” This view point by Italian Foreign Minister, warrants a lot of reminiscing. For long we have tackled issues of immigration without much reflection, the reason why millions of innocent victims in search for a better life and good economic conditions continue to die.

In as much as many point a finger at Europe or the international community for the deaths in Lampedusa, much of the blame goes to African leaders, and especially the African Union. The governance systems in African states, inherited from colonial masters, remain repressive. Despite the much talk about African renaissance, a great majority of Africans remain desperate and poor. According to Ventures Africa, Africa has more millionaires than we can imagine. What a paradox to have a continent with a lot of millionaires and a lot of poor people. It is evident that several African leaders have not met promises made to their populace during electoral campaigns. Farm to market roads remain deplorable, small and medium size enterprises have no hope of growth, the taxes remain exorbitant and ownership of property remains an illusion. In addition to these ills, conflict and political tension is still the order of the day in states like Somalia and Libya. With such a hopeless situation why would Africans not flee in their numbers for peace and a freer environment for economic development?

There is a solution to this mêlée, though not a miraculous one as rightly put by Italian Foreign Minister. The solution to this problem lies in the hands of African bureaucrats and technocrats who have decided to amass wealth and power at the detriment of their populace. African leaders in collaboration with the UN and the African Union need to open up the markets in Africa. Some credit goes to the governments of Rwanda and Botswana who have made long strides in ensuring that the private sector flourishes in these countries. Many African countries still need to make their economies conducive so that Africans will not think of utilising very unsafe and risky means in a bid to getting greener pastures abroad. In as much as I am an advocate of immigration especially as most Europeans and North Americans are immigrants themselves, African bureaucrats should curb some of these barriers which make their citizens flee. If some of these suggestions are reflected upon and taken into consideration, we will stop mourning over loss of life like in the Lampedusa tragedy.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Africa Development

 

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Translating words into action after the 4th World Congress of United Cities and Local Governments in Rabat – Chofor Che, published at Africanliberty.org 08 October 2013


The 4th World Congress of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) took place in Rabat, Morocco, from October 1 to 4, 2013 under the theme: “Imagine Society, Build Democracy.” Delegates from over 100 states around the world attended the Summit, which brought together leaders of local and regional governments, public and private sectors, international organisations, civil society and financial institutions. Was it worth the trouble bringing all these actors together?

This summit coincided with the one hundredth anniversary of the international municipal movement. It was a unique opportunity for sharing and exchange between Africa and the rest of the world. The World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders was a special event in that it was the first UCLG Summit to be held in Africa, with Rabat as the host city. It was indeed an opportunity to highlight the potential of the continent of Africa, to learn first-hand of the major democratic and local governance reforms that have been carried out in Morocco in recent years and to pay tribute to this international city with important cultural heritage and legacy.

The 2013 World Summit was structured around two main concepts: (1) The contribution of local and regional authorities to the well-being of communities and the role in the Post 2015 development agenda; (2) The identification of the new challenges and models needed to answer the demand of an increasingly urban population as we work towards Habitat III in 2016.

In other to elucidate on these two main concepts, several side events were organised. It was an honour to be invited to three of these side events organised by Dr. Najat Zarrouk, Governor and Director of Training of Administrative Cadres at the Ministry of Interior, who also happens to be the Chair of Experts on Public Administration at the United Nations. It was equally an opportunity for me to make a presentation during the side event on human capital development entitled “Professionalisation and human capital development of regional and local government in Africa: A promising paradigm for the continent’s renaissance.”

A lot was said about the central government’s responsibility in ensuring that regional and local governments in Africa are autonomous. Several panelists including my humble self agreed that in ensuring adequate autonomy, the central governments of Africa in collaboration with universities, think tanks, international orgainisations like the UN and the World Bank, needed to continuously hone the skills of these regional and local government actors. A lot was also said about ensuring that adequate finances were allocated to these tiers of government to ensure that they play an effective role in Africa’s renaissance. Equally the role of women in regional and local government affairs was not left out.

Judging from the intentions of such an event, one would say UCLG is dedicated to ensuring that regional and local government especially in Africa take part as partners and not as second or third ranking actors in development as they have been considered in the past. In this regard, central governments in Africa need to give regional and local government actors the role they deserve in governance and development issues. It is equally vital for central governments to ensure that there is a high degree of professionalisation and human capital development especially with a gender focus, so as to ensure maximum output at local and regional government levels. If recommendations arrived at during this summit cannot be materialised especially in Africa, it was not worth the trouble bringing together leaders of local and regional governments, international organisations, public and private sectors, financial institutions and civil society. chofor-che-two.jpg

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2013 in Africa Development

 

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Challenges in revamping Africa’s Small and Medium Size Enterprises, By Chofor Che, 5 August 2013


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) happen to be companies whose personnel numbers fall below certain limits. The acronym ‘SME’ is utilised by African states, as well as international organisations like the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO). SMEs outnumber large companies by a wide margin and also employ many more people. SMEs are also said to be responsible for driving innovation and competition in many economic sectors. According to Wikipedia, The Central Bank of Nigeria defines SMEs according to asset base and number of staff employed. The criteria are an asset base between N5 million and N500 million, and a staff strength between 11 and 300 employees. In Kenya SMEs employ a maximum of 1000 people.

SMEs in Africa have long been plagued by poor management and funding challenges. Despite numerous programmes instituted by governments and international organisations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to revamp this sector, SMEs seem to be lost in the much talked about African renaissance.

In July 2013, the African Development Bank (ADB) promised to assist SMEs in supply chains across Africa with funding worth more than $125 million. This ADB four-year programme, which includes $125 million in direct funding and an additional $3.98 million in the form of a technical assistance package, is supposed to allow banks to furnish standardised lines of credit to SMEs, with a special attention to youth and female-owned businesses.

According to an article dated the 28 July 2013 by Adam Leach of Supply Management Daily, the amount of about $3.98 million will be furnished by the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) and will be utilised to build the capacity and capabilities of 25 lenders to support SMEs. The contribution marks the highest amount ever donated by FAPA and is intended to broaden support for businesses into more rural areas of Africa, where there are higher numbers of youth and women-owned businesses.

An official from the ADB adds that, “In response to these challenges the ADB, through this SME programme, will provide the necessary longer-term finance and a technical assistance package to address a number of the constraints faced by around 25 target financial institutions and their SME clients across Africa.”

The ADB initiative in a laudable initiative and would be instrumental in economic growth, development and the alleviation of poverty in Africa. The only concern is that similar initiatives in the past have not yielded any fruit. SMEs in Africa continue to be poorly financed and managed. Some of the past initiatives have either been crippled by corrupt government officials and the finances misappropriated or siphoned without any traces. Poor SMEs owners, especially women and the youth, who are supposed to benefit from such programmes have not benefitted much. Many SMEs owners are left disgruntled, while corrupt officials embezzle these finances destined for them.

It is imperative for the ADB to ensure that the SMEs initiative does not remain entirely under central government control. It is imperative to make sure that the private sector as well as other independent partners also has a say especially in the financial management of this initiative. Evidently the financing from the ADB is humongous and if care is not taken, this money will be siphoned as before by corrupt African government officials. If African governments are serious about revamping SMEs in Africa and achieving some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), if not all, by 2015, then it is important to allow for a holistic approach to development. The private sector should be brought on board not like a subordinate to government, but as an equal partner. Without such a modus operandi which is of utmost importance to economic growth and development in Africa, then the SMEs in will remain crippled.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Africa Development

 

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Western worries about money-laundering are threatening an economic lifeline for millions of Africans Jul 20th 2013 | NAIROBI |From the print edition of the Economist


FOR Mohamed Abdulle, sending money to his family in Somalia means a trip to a high street in Stratford, East London, home to a large expatriate community. Once there he hands over cash, a telephone number and a name, usually that of his grandmother who lives in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, to an agent. A few minutes later Mr Abdulle, who works as a shop assistant, gets a text message letting him know the cash has arrived on the other side. This fast and reliable system, developed during decades of war in Somalia, is used by hundreds of thousands in the global diaspora, as well as by some UN offices and aid agencies to pay staff.

Perhaps not for much longer. Barclays, a big retail bank, has served notice that it will close the accounts of some 250 money-transfer businesses. The bank said the decision followed a routine legal review. Some money remitters “don’t have the proper checks in place to spot criminal activity,” the bank says, or could “unwittingly” be financing terrorists.

Barclays was among the last British banks willing to deal with agents who cheaply transfer money to poor countries. Many European banks have become nervous about such cash transfers after the American government last year forced HSBC, another big British bank, into a $1.9 billion settlement over allegedly shoddy money-laundering controls.

The impact of Barclays’ decision will be felt across east Africa. Without accounts, the transfer agents cannot operate and their businesses in Somalia’s neighbours, Kenya and Ethiopia, may be hindered, too. The agents, who need a bank account to get a licence, insist they have no problems with law enforcement or regulators. Cash going to extremists in Somalia is sent in sacks by plane, not from a London suburb a few hundred dollars at a time.

The agents are asking what extra measures banks want them to take. Abdirashid Duale, who runs Dahabshiil, the largest Somali money-transfer agency and a customer of Barclays for the past 15 years, says he is willing to comply with any transparency checks the bank requires. He estimates that $500m is sent to Somalia from Britain each year and thinks much of this money will switch to underground agents if legal operators are put out of business.

Dominic Thorncroft, who heads the British money-transfer trade association, says as many as 50 of his 170 members face closure. Under pressure from British MPs, some of whom are elected in constituencies with large migrant populations, the bank has agreed to a 30-day stay which ends in mid-August.

Meanwhile, a group of 100 academics and other notables has written to the British government asking it to avert a humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa. An estimated 40% of Somalia’s population depends on money sent from abroad. A recent study showed that three-quarters of recipients need the money to buy essentials, such as food and medicine.

“This will mean children being pulled out of school, people going hungry or not getting medicines they need,” said Laura Hammond, a lecturer at the University of London. The Somali Money Services Association, another British trade body, warned that the consequences of the closure of the accounts would be “worse than the drought” that ravaged Somalia two years ago and killed tens of thousands.

So far attention has focused on Somalia, where years of conflict have destroyed the banks and left no real alternatives to cheap money transfers. But the 250 firms put on notice by Barclays also include some serving Ghana and Nigeria, as well as India and Bangladesh. More sophisticated and expensive competitors such as Western Union may now benefit. A reduction in competition in the African remittance market will drive up prices.

Africans already pay more than any other migrant group to send money home. The cost of remitting to sub-Saharan Africa, typically around 12%, is three percentage points higher than the global average, according to the World Bank. If African rates could be brought in line with those of South Asia, African migrant families would save more than $4 billion a year. Instead rates are likely to rise further.

Some observers are calling for the creation of new institutions that could replace private banks. One suggestion is a “remittance bank” hosted by the UN or a multilateral agency. Another is a code of conduct worked out by remitters, banks and regulators. “This needs to be driven by government,” says Leon Isaacs of the International Association of Money Transfer Networks. “Or the banks won’t get the comfort they want.”

From the print edition: Middle East and Africa

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in African Remittances

 

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A holistic approach may be vital in combating insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, by Chofor Che


Cameroon will on June 24 to 25, 2013 welcome Heads of state and other world leaders for the first ever international meeting on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. In his announcement on June 17 2013, Cameroon’s Minister of Communications, Issa Tchiroma said Heads of State of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) member countries, United Nations (UN) representatives; African Union (AU) and Interpol officials will attend the summit.

The Gulf of Guinea is found in the northeasternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean between north and west to Cape Palmas in Liberia and Cape Lopez in Gabon. Among the many rivers that flow into the Gulf of Guinea are the Volta and the Niger . The coastline on the Gulf includes the Bight of Bonny and the Bight of Benin. Organic sediments were deposited especially by the Niger River into the waters of the Gulf of Guinea over millions of years which became crude oil. According to Wikipedia, lastly modified on June 15 2013, the Gulf of Guinea region, along with Angola and the Congo River delta are expected to provide around a quarter of the United States of America’ oil imports by 2015. This region is now considered as one of the world’s top oil and gas exploration destinations.

For some time now, Nigerian gangs have targeted the waters of West Africa, making the Gulf of Guinea the newest hot spot for piracy. The Gulf of Guinea is home to one of Africa’s busiest ports with a lot of oil and fuel passing through each year. Pirates have targeted ships carrying oil and fuel that can be easily sold on the local black market. Pirates have also attacked countries that border the harbour, including the Ivory Coast. According to a report from eNews Channel Africa, dated May 30, 2013, a total of 58 attacks were recorded in the Gulf of Guinea last in 2012, including 10 hijackings. The latest attack occurred in February 2013 where pirates hijacked a French-owned fuel tanker off Ivory Coast.

It is obvious that insecurity is a serious issue in the Gulf of Guinea. This has seriously affected the business operations of multinationals especially oil companies with heavy investments in the region. What really is the cause of insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, and what are the possible solutions to this melee? Of course an international meeting on security in the Gulf of Guinea is necessary, but will this solve the concerns of security in this area, especially if inhabitants of this area feel disgruntled about economic gains trickling out of their region?

First of all the private sector in the Gulf of Guinea is still seriously underdeveloped. The indigenes of this area remain improvised and unemployed, while major multinational companies benefit from natural resources, with encouragement from unscrupulous African leaders. Secondly, the taxes paid to African governments by multinationals are instead starched in foreign bank accounts by corrupt leaders, while their citizens languish in poverty. Although former World Bank executive, Nigeria’s minister for finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at the Lancaster House conference on Saturday June 15 2013, purported that multinationals pay far less taxes than they are supposed to, this money can be put into good developmental use by African governments.

Stepping up security in the Gulf of Guinea is thus very important, but this cannot solve the problem of insecurity in the area. Insecurity concerns in the Gulf of Guinea thus warrant a holistic approach, with more attention on creating jobs and improving the livelihood of the indigenes. Many may argue that most of the pirates carrying out atrocities in this area are from parts of the African continent such as Somalia, but the truth is that these pirates even recruit disgruntled locals who do not benefit from the proceeds of the natural resources exploited from their area.

There is therefore a need for the various governments in the Gulf of Guinea to revamp their private sector and create jobs for their citizens, a majority of whom are of youthful age. It is equally vital for taxes paid by oil multinationals especially to be judiciously utilised in the development of the area. Instead of allowing this money to be starched in foreign bank accounts, African leaders should be coerced especially by these multinationals and the World Bank to ensure that the money paid in as taxes is judiciously used for development and employment. It may also be important for states in the Gulf of Guinea to develop a local policy content which would allow for locals to benefit from activities of multinationals. Ghana already has a commendable local policy content. Other countries in the Gulf of Guinea like Gabon and Cameroon need to follow same. With such a combination of possible suggestions, the Gulf of Guinea would definitely be a safe haven not only for multinationals, but also for the indigenes of this area who also suffer from these attacks.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Africa Development

 

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Africa’s renaissance necessitates a permanent seat on the United Nation’s Security Council, by Chofor Che, 11 June 2013


There has been much talk about the reform of the United Nations (UN), particularly its Security Council. There has also been a lot of advocacy on Africa’s demand for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Most of the advocacy has focused on the jostling for permanent seats on the UN Security Council by a plethora of states, with Africa’s demand portrayed as an afterthought. Africa has demanded time and again a permanent seat on the UN Security Council to enable it to effectively contribute to the peacekeeping and conflict resolutions of the UN Security Council, whose agenda is dominated by African issues.

Reform of the United Nations Security Council includes five major issues: regional representation, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, categories of membership, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods, and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship.

The reform of the UN Security Council necessitates the agreement of at least two-thirds of UN member states and that of all the permanent members of the UN Security Council enjoying the veto right. Even though the geopolitical realities have changed drastically since 1945, when the set-up of the current Council was decided, the Security Council has changed very little during this long period. The winners of Second World War shaped the UN Charter in their national interests, dividing the veto-power amongst themselves. The imbalance between the number of seats on the UN Security Council and the total number of member States became evident and the only significant reform of the Security Council took place in 1965 after the ratification of two thirds of the membership, including the five permanent members of the Security Council. The reform included an increase of the non-permanent membership from six to 10 members. In all of these reforms, Africa was not given a major say in affairs of the UN Security Council, nor a permanent seat.

Out of the 193 members of the UN, Africa has 54 states, making it the continent with the greatest number of UN member states. Presently the UN Security Council is made up of five permanent members; the United States of America, France, China, Russia and the United Kingdom. The UN Security Council is also composed of 10 non-permanent members, including Togo, South Africa and Morocco from Africa. The non-permanent seats are on a two-year regional rotation basis.

The UN Charter therefore has impartial criteria for the selection of UN Security Council permanent members. The processes that Africa should undertake to secure permanent membership on the UN Security Council and the criteria to be used in selecting its permanent representatives in the UN Security Council, remains wanting.

In September 2012, President Michael Sata of Zambia, addressing the UN General Assembly in New York, urged Africans to put more pressure for a permanent seat on the UN. In May 2013, another African President, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe also said it was high time Africa had a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

President Sata’s statement was in line with the Committee of 10 (C10). The C10 is an African Union (AU) creation advocating for Africa to have two permanent seats on the UN Security Council with veto powers and additionally, two non-permanent seats to look into the historical injustices that Africa suffered and to keep abreast with the geo-political realities of the modern times.

Most of the UN’s peacekeeping activities in the world are concentrated on the continent, which warrants the continent to have a firm say on how peace keeping operations are carried out on the continent. A lot of African countries like South Africa, Nigeria and Tunisia qualify to seat on the UN Security Council. South Africa for instance is the economic giant of Africa. Nigeria is also an economic giant and attracts major oil companies, despite the much talk about conflict and insecurity.

The continent should not only be a hub for land grabbing and economic exploitation. There is need to equally give Africa the chance to decide on major global issues especially affecting their well being. Africa’s renaissance is a reality, there is no turning back. To solidify and hasten this renaissance, it is germane for Africa to have a say in the making of major international decisions. Africa should be able to decide on major missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rather than allow certain UN Security members, who may have certain economic interests in this country, decide on the lives of Africans. There is need to give Africa a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, and the time is now.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in United Nations

 

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Less than a thousand days to respect the promises of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, by Chofor Che, 12 April 2013


Eight objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were defined in 2000 when a number of United Nations (UN) organisations came together at the UN Head Quarters in New York. These UN organisations vowed that by 2015, they would have reduced poverty and hunger in the world by half, fought against climatic change and illnesses, resolved the problem of lack of consumable water, and increased possibilities for the education of women and girls. This was not the first time that world leaders had made such lofty promises.

Many critics especially in Africa have been cynical that such promises were very ambitious and were going to be abandoned. All the same though a lot still has to be done, some optimists argue that these objectives have assisted in fine tuning policy objectives of states especially in the developing world. According to Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General, 600 million people have been taken out of poverty. Girls and women around the world have benefited from primary education. There has been a drop in infant mortality and juvenile delinquency. Investments injected in the fight against malaria, tuberculosis and HIV AIDS have helped to save lives.

Despite views propounded by UN Secretary General, it is clear that the MDGs were very ambitious. Such is the case especially in Cameroon where the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has already started partnering with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for a post-MDG agenda.

Many reasons account for the slow realisation of the MDGs. A major reason why these goals may not be realised in record time is because of uncoordinated financial aid especially to governments in Africa. A lot of financial aid, pumped into central governments via UN agencies, has been siphoned by corrupt officials. Some of this money has been starched in bank accounts especially in Switzerland. The UN is well aware of such malicious operations, but very little has been done to ensure that financial assistance destined for the world’s poor and destitute, are rightly utilised.

Another major reason why the MDGs may not be realised in record time is because most UN agencies prefer to operate with central governments rather than also bringing on board development partners like civil society groups and NGOs. It is true that civil society and NGOs are not so organised. Despite this fact, most of these civil society groups and NGOs are able to channel funds judiciously to affected communities. The UNDP in Cameroon seems to have realised that working solely with governments may not solve the MDG gig puzzle, reason why there is now a great involvement of civil society groups and NGOs all over the national territory.

In as much as concerns plague the development community about the attainment of the MDGs by 2015, it is vital for certain wrongs committed in the past by the UN system to be put right. If job creation and true privatisation without government coercion, rather than financial aid, is given priority by the UN system, then it may be possible to attain the MDGs in record time. Additionally, if civil society groups and NGOs especially in Africa are well structured and organised, then they could easily assist the UN system in the attainment of the MDGs by 2015. Financial aid alone cannot solve the trick, a holistic approach is very important for the attainment of the MDGs in record time.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Africa Development

 

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