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Southern Voices for Change in the International Aid System Project

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Reflection on the mid-point on the Minimalist/Millennium Development Goals

Source: Ghana Civil Society Resource Center

There’s been a real flurry of activity around the Millennium Goals mid point this past week. Some of it has focused on the way we can push governments to meet the goals, some on appraising the governments’ performance, some rallying the public and informing people of the goals, some critically discussing their meaning and focus.

While it seems to be widely agreed by civil society organisations that the MDGs are not the p ana cea to solve the world's problems, there does appear to be a strong body of opinion that they have provided a framework for development and negotiations and monitoring of their governments’ performance against these commitments. Indeed, even if they were met, the Goals would still not avoid an enormous number of deaths as they only look to halve infant mortality for example. Who decides what half lives? Equally, the aim of putting more Northern donor money into the South will not solve the problems as there needs to be significant work in tackling corruption, strengthening democracies and increasing transparency and accountability of governments to their people, both in the South and the North.

By coming out in such numbers on July 7th (a mid-point of MDG commitments till 2015) – 70 cities hosted events of one kind or another - members of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) showed there is motivation to push governments to achieve MDG targets. Recognising that some progress has been made in some countries, most people are still sorely disappointed with the poor performance of states that signed the Millennium Declaration and made promises to their citizens. Millions of impoverished people continue to live in socially dismal and sub-human conditions without solution or hope. Most countries in the South lag far behind their targets and Northern countries have largely failed to fulfill their promises with regard to aid, trade and debt cancellations. In Africa, for example, 13 African countries (mostly in North Africa) can achieve or come close to the MDGs by 2015 if they continue at the current pace. The remaining African countries have not made any progress in gender equality and women's empowerment, and tens of millions of citizens around the world are still living in an ocean of poverty.

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Mashuta Kalebe
Mid Point of Milenium Goals Attainment The African Case
Submitted by Mashuta Kalebe on Sat, 2007-09-01 09:36.

While it sounds so good to appear to be thinking abreast with the world. Africa south of the Sahara Zambia in particular may not be in tune with the proponents of achieving these goals.

Iam afraid politics has remained a domain for the corrupt and this cripples development.
Those that aspire for leadership have no developmental fibre to say the least.

It will take another deacade to have the right material of leaders.
Science is at its lowest.
Investment is highly foreign dependent.
Education too costly for no work or employment after graduation.
Production of raw materials goes to the west as usual at very cheap prices. The processed materials come back fifty times expensive.

The thieveing leaders get away without paying back.
Now they even muddle it all with calls for regional integration.

The rural poor remain poor.
While western industries pollute the air and waters of the world.
Africa has a fair share of these problems.
It will only take African science and commerce to move out of the debt trap of western powers.

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