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08.04.2007 General News

African Ministers meet on human development


African Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers in-charge of Human Development have met in Rabat for the First African Conference on Human Development.

The meeting sought ways to fight poverty, promote gender equality and good governance, among other things.

A statement issued in Accra on Sunday said the two-day Conference was organized in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

About 46 African Foreign Ministers and Ministers of Public Sector Reform attended. Ghana's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Minister of Public Sector Reform, Dr Paa Kwasi Nduom, attended the conference. The Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs was also represented at the Conference.

Nana Akufo-Addo told the session that the three themes of the conference - the fight against poverty; gender equality and good governance - lay at the core of the social mobilization which had to be undertaken if the Continent was to succeed in eradicating mass poverty and achieving the sustainable growth of African economies.

Stressing on development in Ghana, the Foreign Minister told his colleagues that the “Government has made human resource development a central feature of its strategy for national development, since Government has absorbed the great lesson of contemporary economic history, which is that, the single most important element to the attainment of economic success is the educational quality of a nation's workforce”.

Another aspect of human resource development to which the Government has paid particular attention was the development of a public service that could manage the nation's public affairs with efficiency and diligence.

A message from King Mohammed VI of Morocco read by the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Mohammed Benaissa called on African States to rely on themselves and to use all means available to ensure optimal utilization of the Continent's energies.

“We must, likewise, adopt efficient national policies targeting comprehensive and integrated development. The achievement of such a goal requires an environment of enhanced stability; peace and security as well as further democracy; protection of human rights; good governance and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States”; he said.

Dr Nduom noted that the conference was an ideal platform to promote the values of solidarity and unity among respective countries and to work closely with a view to ensuring the speedy realization of the Millennium Development Goals.

In a declaration adopted at the end of the Conference, the Ministers said they were convinced about the role of regional groupings and institutions in the realization of the goals of regional integration and the optimum exploitation of resources in their respective areas.

The Ministers encouraged the creation of an African network of experts in human development and the establishment of national focal point in charge of coordinating the national networks of experts.

Gabon would host the Second African Conference on Human Development in 2009.

Source: GNA