Africa Progress Report Urges African Leaders to Bring Results for People

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Abidjan, 26 May 2010 – African leaders have been challenged to turn the scramble for Africa into results for all the people of the continent.

The Africa Progress Report 2010 presented ahead of the African Development Bank (AfDB)’s Annual Meetings on Wednesday 26 May 2010 in Abidjan, noted that progress was being recorded in Africa in spite of governance challenges.

It also urged African finance ministers to climate-proof their economies and development plans and invest in women, who account for about 50 percent of Africa’s population.

The report on the theme, “From Agenda to Action – Turning Resources into Results for People", was presented by Graca Machel and Peter Eigen, who are members of the Africa Progress Panel. They were joined by Mo Ibrahim, Founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Abdoulie Janneh, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Edith Jibunoh of the, as panelists.

Speaking on the findings of the 66-page report, Mrs. Machel noted that progress was being made in various countries in Africa and urged African leaders to take advantage of the wealth of the continent, large and growing population, expanding trade and the opportunities offered by climate change to develop Africa.

African leaders, according to Mrs. Machel, should tackle the problem of hunger, lack of access to education for over 15 million children in Africa, inadequate investment in agriculture and energy and corruption.

Noting that rule of law is weak in Africa; Mrs. Machel called for the empowerment of women and civil societies in order to ensure the desired economic growth.

She believes that with visionary and committed leaders and more partnerships, Africa would make meaningful progress in its development efforts.

For his part, Mr. Eigen said that African governments lacked the capacity to deal with corruption, accountability and governance and suggested the empowerment of civil societies which could champion the battle against corruption, especially in the extractive industries.

In his contribution, Mr. Janneh noted that progress was being made in the area of governance, stating that NEPAD and the African Peer Review Mechanism were good indicators of these achievements.

He called for the adoption of appropriate policies in agriculture, citing the successes recorded by Malawi in the sector and stressed the need to end the marginalization of women in Africa.

The report assessed the progress made by Africa in the last five years, examined various blueprints for progress made during the period and identified six priority areas of action, three for African policymakers and three for their international partners.

The panel members are convinced that if their recommendations are adopted, "they will contribute to the delivery of measurable results that will increase the well-being of and opportunities for all Africans."

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