The Words of the Oswald Family

Good Governance Said To Be Key For Africa Development

Rachel Oswald
Published November 20, 2005
Special to World Peace Herald

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- NGO leaders dedicated to development in Africa met in Santo Domingo on Saturday to take part in a discussion on developing a new future for Africa.

According to the U.N.'s Human Development Report 2003, Africa is the world's poorest inhabited continent. The poorest 25 countries of the world all reside in Africa according to the report.

While most of the developing world is experiencing an overall improvement in its quality of life, thanks to increased access to medicine and education as well as the products of foreign trade, Africa is moving backwards in these areas, in part due to the corruption and despotism that plagues many African governments.

"The major cause of Africa's problems is its lack of proper governance which is a prerequisite of economic development," James Mancham, former president of Seychelles, said.

In addition Mancham said that there must be a resolution of all conflicts, an investment in the people and a diversification of the continent's economies if Africa is to achieve sustainable progress.

"The idea that the problems of Africa are endemic due to an African mentality is unjust and unfair," said Mancham, pointing out that many African nations gained their freedom during the Cold War and were thus caught up in its politics and influence.

According to Mancham, the first leaders of liberated Africa oversimplified what needed to be done, "buying into the rhetoric that once the exploiters were gone, there would be enough for all." Mancham said that after they demolished the old order these leaders failed to build a new one.

Mancham said that stability and an honest and effective government that works for the people were preconditions for economic development, while democracy was not, citing Taiwan and China as two successful examples.

Mohammed Attah, event speaker and executive director of NGO Guide 2000, a Nigeria-based NGO, proposed the establishment of SAVE Africa, a consortium of NGO leaders working to better the social, economic, and moral standards of Africa. The proposal was met by general enthusiasm by conference participants.

United Press International editor-in-chief Michael Marshall suggested harnessing the resources of the well-educated African-American population within the U.S. to assist Africa.

Danielle Pritchett, another conference participant, said that education should be stressed within Africa, especially among mothers. "When you educate mothers, you aren't only educating them but their children and their community," said Pritchett.

The World Association of NGO's, a global consortium of NGO's working together on human rights and economic development sponsored the discussion as part of its annual conference in the Dominican Republic. WANGO considers Rev. Sun Myung Moon to be the source of its founding vision, and he remains its major supporter. Rev. Moon founded News World Communications, which publishes World Peace Herald.

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