- A leading Senegalese economist and president of the African Women's Millennium Initiative on Poverty and Human Rights, AWOMI, Yassin Fall has launched a crusade against "misuse" of the Global Fund in Africa, in particular by first ladies and governments.
Ms Fall wonders why global funds which are meant to eradicate poverty and diseases in Africa are still supporting first ladies. "We want this to stop because the money is not for them," she told afrol News.
The Global Fund is the world's leading funder of programmes to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Created in 2002, the Global Fund has committed over US$ 5.5 billion to life-saving programs in 132 countries and accounts for a quarter of the world's funding for AIDS programs in the developing world.
The Fund-financed programmes already support nearly half a million people on AIDS treatment, provide over half a million children orphaned by AIDS with medical services, education and community care and reach tens of millions with the knowledge and tools to protect themselves against HIV infection.
Ms Fall also picks bones with international financial institutions for conspiring with African governments to create endless economic problems for the people of a continent plagued with famine, war, hunger, poverty and diseases.
"We feel that the way policies are being crafted in air-conditioned closed-door meetings with our leaders is a form of corruption because when you go to international financial institutions and ask them about the agreements they signed with our people, they said go back to your government. They refuse to reveal them. As African women, we are asking for participation and transparency because these decisions are affecting millions of Africans, in particular, the youth."
She says despite being showered with huge "tailor-made loans" by international financial institutions, most African governments deliberately refuse to fund the fight against HIV/AIDS, which is claiming the lives of the young people, especially women.
With all these problems on the table, the Senegalese activist says it is funny to hear that "our countries are recording accelerated growth. We have to question this growth - for whom, by whom and whose benefit? So we are here to question this so as to understand how policies are being framed. What is the process, who participates, who decides and who benefits?" she asks, adding that young people, who form 70 percent of Africa's population, are excluded in these processes.
Ms Fall organised skills training for young women of Africa and the Diaspora. And in her address, a Kenyan parliamentarian, Ms Phoebe Asiyo, said many people in Africa have given up but there is hope to get over the stinking poverty. "We need to circulate to the Bretton Woods institutions and tell them the things that are killing our people so that they too can feel," she said.
Marie Sounie Rivette, a Haitian describes the year 2006 as the worst ever yet for youths, despite signing "conventions and policies to brighten our future. Our countries are grappling with problems of all sorts - AIDS, poverty, marginalisation. African youth is sick and tired of having laws and conventions that would not be implemented. We need to be consulted and we need a future that is based on peace, integrity and development," she declared.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.