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28.01.2005 General News

Boston University launches State of Africa Report in Accra

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Accra, Jan. 28, GNA - The African Presidential Archives and Research Centre of the Boston University on Friday launched the 2004 State of Africa Report that provides a forum for the assessment of key development issues confronting the Continent.

The 14-page document, which is the third in a series, captures the development strides of countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Botswana, Mozambique and Tanzania during the period under review especially in the area of Democratic Governance and Free Market Reform.

Launching the Report, at a Media briefing in Accra, Mr Charles R. Stith, Director of the Centre, said it represented an ongoing chronicle of the progress of the countries involved and the Heads of State featured.

"A report like this helps to provide greater insight into the aspirations and issues that are important to the leadership on the continent of Africa."

Mr Stith, who is a Former US Ambassador to Tanzania, said the Report could help his country to be better informed about Africa.

"It is not simply the moral imperative to respond to Africa's problem that begs US attention. The necessity of helping Africa to fulfil its potential is equally compelling."

He emphasised: "There must be an appreciation that Africa's economic security is ultimately related to America's national security. America must engage Africa more fully and equitably than we did in the Middle East when it becomes our major source of oil. If we don't, what we will see in African States is what we presently face in Middle East."

Mr Stith said in terms of governance, the countries featured, have had to confront all the challenges one would expect nascent democracies to face.

He said the process of democratic governance had taken roots in Africa.

Relative to the economy, the Report chronicled unprecedented economic performance, which has been accomplished on the dregs of economic infrastructure left in most African countries at the end of the colonial period.

Mr Stith said the Centre was roping the University of Ghana, Legon, the University of Witwatersand in South Africa and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania into its Historically Black College and Universities Collaborative.

New grants of 400,000 dollars from the United States Agency for International Development and 150,000 dollars from Carnegie Corporation would be committed to the beneficiary universities to enable them to access all programmes and materials from the Centre.

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