Africa, with its immense human and material wealth, can achieve the globally agreed development targets world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro told United Nations agencies working on the continent, while also stressing the need for strong support from the international community.
“The continent’s people need neither pity nor charity, but rather the tools, institutions, stability and freedoms to create incomes and jobs,” Ms. Migiro stated in her remarks to the Regional Coordination Mechanism meeting held yesterday in Addis Ababa.
“International solidarity and a level playing field – especially in global trade – will go a long way toward helping the continent realize its noble objectives for its people, its prosperity and its stability,” she told the meeting, which seeks to ensure that various UN departments and agencies work more effectively together in the region.
She noted that the broad impacts of climate change and the multiple crises, including those related to finance, food and energy, continue to hamper development efforts in Africa and threaten to scale back hard-won development gains.
In spite of these challenging trends, Africa’s economic performance rebounded and has remained steadfast, with growth projected to be 4.8 per cent in 2010, driven mainly by recovery in mineral exports, official development assistance (ODA) inflows, strong government expenditure on infrastructure development, and remittances.
In September, world leaders meeting in New York noted the remarkable achievements that have been made, especially in terms of reducing poverty and expanding education and access to clean water, just some of the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
They sent a clear message, said Ms. Migiro: “If we step up our efforts, the MDGs remain achievable by 2015, including in the least developed countries.
“However, the Summit also stressed that more concerted efforts are needed, particularly in Africa,” she pointed out, adding that the September summit’s outcome document set out some of the key challenges.
These include addressing climate change, reducing inequalities, advancing the well-being of vulnerable groups, and continuing to implement the global action plan for the least developed countries (LDCs), 33 of which are in Africa.
Addis Ababa is the last stop on the Deputy Secretary-General’s current three-nation trip, which also included visits to Lebanon and Laos.