- Following the outcome of a global governance meeting in Dakar, Senegal, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has pledged US$25 million towards strengthening credible national institutions like parliaments, human rights organisations and anti-corruption commissions in developing countries, during 2010.
The funds will also go toward promoting inclusive governance programmes such as access to information and channels that allow stakeholder voices to be heard in governance processes.
This decision comes at the end of a week-long conference of more than 200 governance experts and delegates including former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, and former Prime Minister of Canada, Joe Clark. Some $13 million of this amount will be spent on supporting election processes in Sub-Saharan countries during 2010-2011.
“This week has shown us that there’s a very strong consensus that capable, inclusive, responsive states are a prerequisite for development, including for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals,” said Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, UNDP's Democratic Governance Practice Director. “Therefore we are fully committed to harnessing and optimizing our resources to that end.”
The Dakar conference was held against the backdrop of new global challenges that are threatening development gains, such as the economic crisis and climate change, and which the conference participants said called for a renewed focus on the role of the state.
It is generally accepted that lack of governance, insufficient governance or outright bad governance at both global and national levels have contributed heavily to the ongoing global crises and challenges facing humanity at the moment. For UNDP it is therefore important to ensure that democratic governance - with its focus on inclusive participation, responsive institutions and values regarding human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment - becomes a critical and strategic part of the response, the agency said in a statement.
The conference also dedicated significant attention to Sub-Saharan Africa where some 20 countries are scheduled to conduct legislative or presidential elections over the next two years.
“Sub-Saharan Africa has a very promising future if we can promote inclusive states that speak and act on behalf of citizens, and that are capable of confronting the challenges and complexities most nations in the region face today,” said Ms Fraser-Moleketi, adding at the same time that the need for capable states reaches far beyond Africa and there are best practices to be shared through South-South cooperation.
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.