Saturday, May 26, 2012

'Benefits Of Africa's Economic Growth Yet To Reach All'

‘Benefits Of Africa’s Economic Growth Yet To Reach All’ .

Saturday, 26 May 2012 00:00
From Laolu Akande, New York News

DESPITE the global economic crisis, the economy of African countries continued to expand with positive forecasts for growth, according to the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

However, in his 2012 Africa Day Message (which is May 25), he expressed concern that while the economies are expanding on the continent, “the benefits are not reaching all Africans.”

Only on Thursday, the UN released a news statement regarding the food crisis in Burkina Faso, disclosing that 15 million people in the Sahel region, including Nigerians in the northern part of the country, are currently facing severe food insecurity.

In the message released yesterday in New York ahead of the Africa Day normally celebrated around the UN with a number of gatherings and events, the UN Secretary-General said all Africans are yet to enjoy the benefits and that instead, “poverty, hunger, and disparities in health, education and participation in society are preventing hundreds of millions of Africans from fully realizing their potentials.”

According to him, this is why “greater effort is needed by all to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.”

He added: “Each year, Africa Day provides an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of the peoples and governments of Africa and to reaffirm the support of the United Nations for their efforts to build a better future.

“The United Nations commends Africa’s recent efforts to consolidate its peace and security architecture, and to reject unconstitutional changes of power. We will continue to work with Africa in building durable peace, ending armed conflicts, boosting democracy, and promoting respect for fundamental human rights, especially the rights of women and youth.

“Africa is a dynamic continent undergoing fundamental transformation. Even during the world economic crisis, Africa’s economies continued to expand, and growth forecasts remain positive.

“The growing number of success stories across Africa indicates that broader social and economic progress is realistically attainable for most Africans. I have personally seen the dividends of investing in women’s and children’s health and sustainable agriculture. I have spent many hours with African leaders who are committed to peace, human rights, democracy and good governance.

“The challenge is to extend these advances and ensure they reach all Africans, especially the continent’s poorest and most vulnerable people. In particular, we must address the spectre of hunger – from the highly visible periodic food emergencies to the hidden disgrace of stunting that is affecting a new generation of African children.”

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