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18.10.2004 General News

Conflicts blur development vision for Africa - Broni

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Accra, Oct. 18, GNA - Mr. Thomas Broni, Deputy Minister of the Interior, said on Monday that Africa was the only continent in the world that had become poorer in the last 22 years, due to the numerous conflicts that had plagued the people.

But for the numerous political conflicts, which have plagued Africa, the vision of past African leaders like Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya for the development of Africa should have been realised by now, he explained. Mr. Broni was speaking at the opening of a five-day international Training Programme on Peace-building and Good Governance for African Civilian Personnel serving on peacekeeping missions across the world.

"In 1872 Japan's educational code promised that there would be no community with illiterate family and no family with an illiterate person.

"In the late 1940's a newly independent India promised universal primary education for its population by 1960."

Mr. Broni said the past African leaders also promoted similar education campaigns in post-independence Africa.

"Today Japan and India have realised the visions but Africa is still wallowing in poverty."

The workshop, jointly organized by the Legon Centre for International Affairs (LECIA) and the Italy-based Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa, with support from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and Cooperazione Italiana was to provide participants with the capacity to protect human rights, promote humanitarian objects and respect for the rule of law in conflict zones. The workshop, was the fourth of five series planned for the year.

Mr. Broni said it was important for African leaders to deal with the causes of conflicts, such as government of exclusion, selective justice and corruption, to ensure that peaceful co-existence and the rule of law were firmly institutionalised in African countries. He said there was also the need for African countries to have integrated policies that focused on people's survival, livelihood, dignity and development, if security, stability and peace were to be consolidated on the continent.

"Free, independent, pluralistic and incorruptible information media are also an integral part of human security promotion," he said. "When information media are muffled, and practitioners' ability to communicate with their readers and listeners and to speak out is suppressed, lives are impoverished."

Professor George E. K. Bluwey of LECIA said since the inception of the peacebuilding and good governance training programme, 112 African civilians had been trained.

He said over 40 trainers and 18 international election observers have also been trained.

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