28 May 2014

Africa: Min. Ngafuan Blames Western Countries for Africa's Failure in MDGs

Monrovia — With less than a year to the end of the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] it seems that African countries prospect of achieving the deliverables set out in the MDGs are fa-rfetched.

The MDGs has eight goals, but African Leaders grouped Africa's deliverables into six pillars, namely structural economic transformations and inclusive growth, Science and innovation, people-centered development, environmental sustainability, natural resources management, and disaster risk management, Peace and Security and Finance.

Several African countries including Liberia have proven unable to achieve the deliverables as spelled out in the MDGs and are now looking to post 2015 but Liberia's Finance Minister Augustine Ngafuan puts the blame for the failure of African countries in achieving MDGs on unfulfilled commitments by western countries.

"One of the challenges of the MDGs was that some of the commitments made to finance the MDGs were not followed through or actualized by some of those who made those commitments," said Minister Ngafuan.

Minister Ngafuan continued: "The developed world pledged to double the number of aid that will come to Africa, the developed world pledged 0.7 percent of their national income to development assistance, but that did not happen."

According to the Foreign Minister only few countries in the developed world lived up to their commitments to Africa. "Accounting for what happened proved that very few members of the developed world met those commitments," Ngafuan added.

He said, Africa is seeking that its common position is reflected in the global development framework. Minister Ngafuan asserts that the Common African Position is more consolidated than the Millennium Development Goals.

Africa's numerous problems

Minister Ngafuan named power deficit, strengthening of trade, climate change and illicit financial flow as problems affecting the continent. "What Africa losses in illicit financial flow is more than what Africa gets in Aid", Ngafuan said.

The Minister explained that strengthening regional and continental trade will help boost Africa's economy."We trade more with Asia, Europe and America than our neighbors." Minister Ngafuan furthered that power deficit is a structural economic problem and drives away investors from the continent.

"Power deficit is a structural problem in the economy. The cost of power in West Africa is fifty-two cent per kilowatt one of the highest in the world, we have to work on our power deficit," Ngafuan said.

They've failed

A member of the civil society disagrees with the new model adopted by African leaders, the Common African Position (CAP). Saydee Monboe, a civil society activist believes that the creation of the Common African Position [CAP] on post 2015 development is meant to cover the failure of African leaders on the MDGs.

"African leaders have observed that they have failed, so what they are trying to do is that they are finding new thing [CAP] to use as a cover up," Monboe said. He said, the formation of policy paper has never been Africa's problem, adding that the lack of sincerity and political will has been the problem.

Monboe explains that the document prepared is "impressive" and that it is no different from the global document on post 2015. He continued: "This document is no different from global document that talks about post 2015, the document is very impressive, it is well prepared but our fear is that the implementation of those policies, many at time African leaders prepare documents but the political will is not there, we want to see it being implemented post 2015."

He argued that Africa is yet to achieve five percent of the MDGs adding that they [African Leaders] come up with new ideas. "Let us look at MDGs, Africa is yet to achieve five percent of the MDGs than we talking about post MDGs."

Corruption undermines achievement

Monboe said, corruption in government and the lack of transparency are serious problems if not addressed will continue to impede Africa's development. He said: "Africa is one of the richest continents in the world again we are poor, this comes from African leaders inability to manage our resources, where do we take this money from to support these ideas when African leaders are not transparent, they do not prosecute people who take our money, who are those that make Africa poor is African leaders."

Monboe said, African leaders are largely responsible for the poor state of affairs of the continent. "We question their commitment and sincerity, honesty and policy implementation. They take all of our money misuse it, misplace it, the money does not disappear in thin air, it disappears in the thin pockets of African leaders at the end you see them richer than the continent, all of the richest people in Africa are the people who serve in government," Monboe said.

According to an Executive Mansion Release, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, performing the National Launch of the CAP on the post 2015 Development Agenda at the Foreign Ministry's C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium on Monday said, the intent is to move Liberians from externally driven initiatives toward domestically inspired action.

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