Monday, July 09, 2007

Tanzania recognised for good governance

Jeffrey Sachs has singled out Tanzania as one of the African countries that has benefited in recent years from good governance. He was speaking in connection with a United Nations push for a “Green Revolution” in Africa to help the continent build stable agricultural systems and rescue tens of millions of people from poverty.

The idea of a Green Revolution for Africa, inspired by a similarly named program that helped many Asian countries, especially India, out of underdevelopment in the 1970s, has been championed by former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Kofi Annan

At a joint news conference in Geneva, the three U.N. agencies said the African version should not copy the Asian experience but be based on African realities, focusing on small-scale farming and help in empowering women.

Over the past 15 years, according to the FAO, the number of hungry people in Africa has increased by 45 million to a total of 220 million -- around a third of the continent's population and one quarter of the world's under-nourished people.

Yields of maize and other staple cereals in Africa remained at under 1.0 tonne per hectare, about half average yields in Asia and Latin America.

The U.N. agencies said the main causes of food insecurity were weak institutions, insufficient investment in agriculture by national governments and donor countries, a harsh environment made worse by climate change, corruption and mismanagement.

At a separate news conference, the U.N. adviser and U.S. academic Jeffrey Sachs said Ghana, Tanzania, Madagascar and Malawi were among African countries which have benefited from good governance in past years, helping drive economic progress.

Sachs said problems arose because many decision-makers in donor nations "don't know the quality of governance that is emerging in many African countries".

The School of St Jude in northern Tanzania is contributing to the future good government of the country by giving bright children from poor families an excellent education based on good ethical standards. This well-run project is worthy of your support.

African Green Revolution
– an excellent online resource about this initiative.

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