AFRICAAn independent UN panel on has urged the United Nations to support Africa's New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), as the continent's best option for growth and development because international initiatives of the past decade had "failed" the continent. The panel made its recommendation in its final report on the New Agenda for the Development of Africa, a UN-led international effort to boost Africa's development during the 1990s. The past decade was "another decade of poor economic performance", the 12-member panel said, urging the UN to "throw its weight behind the African leaders new home- grown strategy, the NEPAD." [The panel's full report is available at www.http://www.un.org/ecosocdev ] (IRIN)
ETHIOPIAEthiopia became one of 23 countries "fast tracked" by the World Bank this week for massive financial investment in the education sector. It means the countries can get extra money to help overhaul their education systems and put some 67 million children through primary school. World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn said in a statement that the plan could transform the prospects of third world countries. The announcement comes as Ethiopia plans to extend by another five years a plan to radically overhaul its education sector. Ethiopia has one of the poorest levels of education in the world.
Under the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), all children must receive primary education by 2015.
"More than 67 million children in these countries have never set foot in a classroom and many more drop out before completing even five or six years of primary school, which is the minimum to be able to read, write and do basic arithmetic, and to provide the basis for further learning," Wolfensohn said.
"Education for all is an achievable goal but it will not be achieved without extraordinary effort by both the countries and their development partners," he said. "Now it is up to the G-8 and other donors to follow through and provide the financing necessary to make this education Fast Track work."
The Bank estimates that the international community will need to commit US $3 billion a year in additional financing over the next 10 years to help countries meet the education goals. (IRIN)
KENYAThe Catholic Archbishop of Nairobi, His Grace Raphael Ndingi Mwana'a Nzeki has appealed to the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC) to work devotedly and complete its task by February 2003. In a statement issued on Friday June 14, 2002, the Archbishop says that since the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) has approved extension of the life of the CKRC to February 2003, "we now urge the CKRC to make every effort to have the new constitution ready by that time without any further delay." The Commission's mandate was supposed to end in October 2002. (See Kenya Election Watch)
South AfricaSouth African Churches Release NEPAD Assessment At a press conference at the South African Council of Churches, an assessment/discussion document "Un-blurring the Vision: An ssessment of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) by South African Churches" was issued. Africa's social, economic and political focus need urgent transformation through a determined effort if it is to extricate itself from the poverty trap. NEPAD presents itself as a dynamic group of new generation African Leaders to reconstruct and develop the continent.
But NEPAD's vision is blurred by fixing its dependency on global integration, rather than on embracing Africa's own people in direct, participatory and decisive action to overcome the causes of the continent's impoverishment.
The Church is committed to working with Africa's legal political leaders. The Church also continues Christ's mission of bringing good news to the afflicted, liberty to captives, freedom to the oppressed, when it engages with NEPAD's goals. (SACBC)
TANZANIAAdorers of the Blood of Christ Nuns Begin Constructing "Village of Hope" The Village is in response to the greatest challenge, treatment and care of HIV positive patients, especially orphaned children who are abandoned. The children will live in family-style houses which include 8 to 9 children with an adoptive mother and if possible an adoptive father.
There will be a nursery school staffed mostly by nuns. Pupils will be those living on the premises and those with AIDS still living with their parents who will be given the necessary treatment along with the village children.
Parents will be instructed in the care of their HIV positive children while they will also receive treatment. Medicines and medical supplies will be paid for from fees paid by non-HIV positive patients who come for medical care. The important point of the project, the Adorer nuns point out, is prevention. (ZENIT)