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Governance

African Regional Dialogue - The New Development Agenda: Post-2015 Global Thematic Consultation on Governance

Details:

The consultation process on governance and the post-2015 framework, co-led by UNDP and OHCHR, commenced on 11-12 October in Johannesburg, South Africa. The African Regional Dialogue - the first in a series of dialogues around the world in advance of the Global Thematic Consultation on Governance - was hosted by the Pan-African Parliament.

The event sought to stimulate dialogue and collect views, experiences and perspectives of civil society, policy makers and governance practitioners from the African region to contribute to the emerging development framework. The consultation built on UNDP's experience on the MDGs, affirming that sustained progress towards development goals must be underpinned by strong democratic governance mechanisms and people’s participation in decision-making processes. This was an extraordinary opportunity to contribute viewpoints, experiences and perspectives that reflect the realities of people’s lives and related development priorities in Africa.

This Dialogue included presentations by the Hon. Bethel Amadi, President of the Pan-African Parliament, and Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Governance Practice Director, United Nations Development Programme. Other speakers included representatives from Trust Africa, Open Society Initiative and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Archived footage from the sessions of the Dialogue are available for viewing below.

 

Tags:
Governance, #Africa Dialogue, worldwewant2015, post-2015 development agenda
Topics:
Governance
Regions:
South Africa, Africa
Visibility: 
Public
Dagnachew Wakene from
Wed, November 14, 2012 at 02.25 am
PRELUDE:

First of all, expression of thanks to IDA, UNICEF and to all those who collaborated in the realization of this consultation. Thank you for launching such a pragmatic discussion platform!

For reasons of academic background and interest in disability & development, I would’ve loved to do an in-depth analysis on the theme(s) brought up by this consultation in light of the post-2015 development agenda. However, the short notice I was given, coupled with time constraints on my end, dictated that I confine this contribution to a few pertinent points for now.

The comments provided herein are primarily hinged upon the situation in Africa. I dissect my views into two sub parts; namely, a) the early aspirations, and b) today’s status quo.


A) THE EARLY (INITIAL) ASPIRATIONS:

It is, I suppose, important to have a brief recap of aspirations that emerged with the advent of the MDGs and subsequent efforts made to create a convincing link between disability and the MDGs (notwithstanding the latter did not explicitly include the former) in some key regional instruments. Notable among such instruments was the Continental Plan of Action (CPA), promulgated in 2002 by the African Union following the first declaration of the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities. The CPA was known to have made a strong point by persuasively linking each MDG to disability. It stated, and I quote: “the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger (MDG 1) will only be possible through recognizing that disabled people and their families represent a very substantial proportion of the poorest of the poor. Universal primary education (MDG 2), the only absolute goal (100%), must address the problems that result in 98% of disabled children in African countries not being in school. Gender equality and the empowerment of women (MDG 3) cannot be realized without confronting the double discrimination and disadvantage that disabled girls and women encounter. A reduction in child mortality (MDG 4) must combat the under-five mortality of disabled children, which can be as high as 80%. Similarly, the improvement in maternal health (MDG 5) will only be achieved by addressing the disabling impairments associated with pregnancy and childbirth, affecting up to 20 million women a year. And to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases (MDG 6), we will need to account for the fact that disabled people are particularly vulnerable to these diseases (which are also a major cause of disabling impairments). Environmental sustainability (MDG 7) plays a significant role in both preventing disability and ameliorating functional limitations. A global partnership for development (MDG 8) cannot be effectively realized without involving people with disabilities and their organizations as partners.” So these were the aspirations.


B) TODAY’S STATUS QUO:

Disability has heretofore been largely excluded from the MDGs discourse in Africa and, by extension, the Global South as a whole. International agencies, donors, governments and other development actors have yet adequately recognized disability, PWDs and their representative organizations within a cross-cutting framework. Instead, these issues have been accorded a minimal priority in national and regional development debates.

As we now approach 2015, it should be vehemently asserted that PWDs and their representatives must uncompromisingly be at the table in all development-focused discussions leading to 2015 (in line with the precepts of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – CRPD). The lack of such participation in the years leading up to the Millennium Summit (2000) meant that a significant opportunity for inclusion of persons with disabilities over the past decade was lost. Needless to say, therefore, another such unique opportunity must not go by the wayside. Current platforms and conferences, such as the IDA-UNICEF forum to which this contribution is presented, the African Youth Conference on Post-2015 Development Agenda which will be held this month (November) in Nairobi, etc., would play such a vital role in this process of effectively enunciating the often precluded agenda.

I envision that this platform would come up with a concerted, pragmatic, all-inclusive and well-organized resolution, together with an Action Plan and a perhaps Task Force implementing the Action Plan as we march together towards 2015.



THANK YOU!

Dagnachew Wakene, LL.B; M.Phil (Rehabilitation, Disability, Development)
Research Associate, World ENABLED

dagnacheww@yahoo.com

November 14, 2012
KenyaSue Smart from
Sun, October 14, 2012 at 04.52 pm
I feel that the only way forward is to look back at his-story and gather our-story and positive examples of collective responsibility Eye would now like to introduce the question of Reparations to this forum: The Repairing The Healing and the issues which have been inherited as a legacy of brutality which we are caught in today: African s in the Motherland and also in the diaspora need to have a dialogue about interpretations of these issues; Education is key 1st up BBC documentary A Savage Legacy OF Enslavement:


<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/D4k1ywcofa8?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Racism: A History EP03 A Savage Legacy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4k1ywcofa8
Anonymous from
Fri, October 12, 2012 at 12.01 pm
I followed this meetings for a while and would like to appreciate some of the milestones made. There was strong realization that Governance is not about the governing, but the governed.
Here is the position of the Africa Civil Society Platform on Principled Partnership (ACP) put together by our Governance working team from Ethiopia, Liberia, Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda

There was a strong mention of the need to engage with Civil Society (this is increasingly becoming the catch phrase for the world-thanks to the Arab Spring) and in the conclusions there was a call for freedom for information and space for Civil Society. But the meeting fell short on making any radical proposals for Africa in the post 2015 agenda. While we agree that Africa many many charters touching on Democracy and Governance, we did not hear why we have failed to honor even the ones we have domesticated, let alone the ones we have signed and ratified.

There was no mention why Rule of Law has today become Rule by the Law-we create New laws and then use them against our citizens. We heard about putting into context International Governance Framework- the challenge for this is that we cannot speak of a Global Post 2015 Framework when we would like to have context specific proposals. We may have to decide what is context specific and what is Global and so demands our collective agreement.

There were rich discussions on African values and how they have informed our people, but I did not hear much about how we can harvest these rich values to strengthen our Governance today. And I am eager to see what the African Common position on Governance is going to look like.
I am a strong supporter of an African model and truly believe in our people and our capacity to govern ourselves. I think we have allowed ourselves to be destroyed by democracies that promote ideals we do not hold and do not wish to see in us, we have been forced to equate freedom with free will and have been made to believe that elections are a central part of democracy when in fact elections that are not founded on respect for society and its values are a recipe for rulership by the masses-which is neither democracy nor good governance.
I hoped but did not hear our parliamentarians speak about these issues-We have gone global because we have refused to honor the local.
When we have conflicts today-where is our first flight for mediation and resolution? Isn't it the very same people we say meddle with our affairs?

We must make very honest and hard choices as a continent, and as citizens of this beloved Africa. We cant have it both ways-value external support only when it favors private interests. After 50 years Africa needs to take a hard look at the mirror and remember that all of us-whether in the North or South- are employed or elected to take care of the interests of the people who elect us-and not the philanthropic interests of some far away country.President Obamas primary and sometimes sole interest is that of the American people-not some Global citizenry, or worse still some country tucked away in Africa-He is elected to take care of American Businesses, American Security, American jobs, American values-if that means periodically taking care of you, he will,but only in so far as it advances the interests of the people who elect him.Where are the Africans whose primary interest are the African people!

Here are our proposal for our continent:

1.Development is hinged on the ability of citizens to engage in economic and social activities, and they dependence on the state to provide then space and infrastructure to do so freely and within their capacity. State legitimacy is therefore key to any development agenda. That legitimacy is obtained on an account of perceived and accepted social license-and that license is granted on the evidence of sound governance, and state legitimacy, premised on governance principles

2.We have learnt from World Development Report 2011 that poor governance can slide a country into not just a downward spiral to poverty, but it takes nearly 20-30 years to make a recovery from a consequence of bad governance. Cases such as Liberia, South Sudan and DRC show that recovery from based governance is more costly than the cost of any development initiative.

3. Governance and inequality are interlinked. When people have a perception that they are not being led justly and with equity, they begin to take control of their own development to protect their own. Those in power will have an advantage, in the short run. Bu the resulting inequality (as seen in South Africa, Uganda and Burundi) leads to an uprising by those who believe they are at the periphery begin to demand for their own inclusion, leading to upheavals that affect the overall development agenda and subsequently leadership.

4. State-Society Relations should be the foundation of any governance agenda, not just electoral democracy. Any development agenda should have as its core the first rule of development- equity and Justice. The state should draw its legitimacy for any development agenda from the society through inclusive and continued engagement, not just through elections.

5.The capacity to engage in more important than the capacity to do. The first capacity building for any state should be the ability to engage and build legitimacy. This means adhering to the principles of separation of powers and respecting the arbitration role of the Judiciary. The state should make its first investment in strengthening its institutions of governance and the institutions that enable it to gather information from and engage society. It should not focus its capacities on “doing development” but rather on “facilitating development”

6 State –Civil Society relations…specifically, that the State creates the policy, legal, regulatory and institutional environment that enables civil society to operate freely, fully and effectively.
7.Apart from the creation of the enabling environment for civil society's development effectiveness, there should also be mechanisms put in place to operationalise State-Civil society engagement. As it stands now, there is a lot of rhetoric and very little action.
8. Human rights and security promotion and protection still remains critical on our continent and must be highlighted.
9. Strengthening institutions of governance and allowing them to operate within the confines of the law and independent of state interference. I am referring to institutions such as the judiciary, legislature, media, electoral commissions etc.

10. For many African countries, governments have signed and ratified international, continental and regional protocols on good governance that contain all the elements needed for the kind of governance that we need on our continent. Yet, these protocols are not 'domesticated' and implemented as is expected at the national level. The governments of Africa should fulfill their obligations to the citizenry of Africa as they promise to do through the signing and ratification of these protocols. The necessary mechanisms should be created to ensure that governments adhere to the responsibilities at the national level. This may be a tall order, but the issue needs to be discussed and solutions found to the problem we currently face.

11. Transparency and Government(s) Accountability should be a non-negotiable option that underpins state-society engagement and any development targets

12. That in dialogue processes like this there are often missing voices that never gets a chance to have their voice heard, and I think it is important that country consultations should focus also on grassroots level. In contexts such as Liberia and other conflict affected countries, some of these missing voices are often the commercial bike riders majority of whom are former ex-combatants who have found a new way of making living through these means, the rural farmers and fishermen and the uneducated, unskilled and unemployed youths.
Anonymous from
Thu, October 11, 2012 at 05.05 pm
I listened to the early morning part of the conference and those interventions by participants, they were very inspiring.
However, over the past decades and indeed in the recent years of the Millennium Development Goals, all the development forces have joined hands together trying to understand the problems militating against the African continent and solutions have been proffered to some of them that are obviously noticeable, Unfortunately, there had been the issue of sovereignty politeness by various development partners while solutions were being sought for the African numerous problems, worst still are those problems that remain hidden because of the nature of the citizens in majority which facilitate and sustaining the emergence of the worst amongst them as leaders. Over the years citizens have become weak and demobilised for ineffective rule of law which is the only means to get citizens activated. Bad leadership will disappear once citizens become actively mobilised and the continent will be uplifted immediately.
The current crops of African leadership could no longer help the society, because they are weaker and unrefined than the citizenry, hence, they only serves as tools of pulling down for constant under-development as they stood steps below the level of the society. A refined leader will have strength emanating from refinement to stand at least a step above the society for gradual upliftment.
The challenges today is that only the third sector leadership within the Pan-African movements and their counterpart in the civil society organisations and NGOs could help to rebuild the society and strengthen them to once again strengthen to produce refine leadership for the continent.
The main solution is to once again promote effective rule of law in the continent to eliminate weakness and the culture of cutting corners with the temptations to connive with the foreign citizens and organizations to short-change the continent of its endowed resources. Citizens are the foundation upon which all leadership structures are build, if the foundation is weak, the leadership structures will indeed bedevilled with constant problems.
We all agree that African continent has great problems of bad leadership, but we had refused to trace the problem to the root below the stem without which no sustained solutions can be discovered, while in the meantime the stem will continue to grow fat with added strength. Even if the symbolical tree stem is cut down, the power that lies in the root will make it grow further and stronger. That is why successive leadership in Africa had not change to solve the growing developmental challenges.
Anonymous from
Thu, October 11, 2012 at 10.52 am
Fully agree with Patrick Mucheleka (Zambia) of on the need to create space for stronger state-society relations. No state can expect to grow if it refuses to accept the legitimacy for their existence lie with the society-and that society through their collective voices (civil society) should be given the space to engage and inform how they are governed and how the path they take to development. We have a study that covered 33 countries across Africa and shows this is not the case- You can read it here-http://www.cso-effectiveness.org/IMG/pdf/disenabling_environment-2.pdf
Anonymous from
Thu, October 11, 2012 at 10.29 am
The speakers are identifying problems but I am yet o hear a speaker talk about solutions to the problems,e.g What if Africa spoke with one voice when it comes to exporting raw material. Where is the talk of needs assesment of "African problems" as a start to tailor made solutions, where is the talk of increasing pan African dialogue so we can learn from each other.... I am haring a lot of words like donors, global market, Strucutural adjustment programmes.... those still remain outside influences. It is my hope that as these dialogues continue we will start to speak about our own solutions with a pan african outlook.
Anonymous from
Thu, October 11, 2012 at 10.22 am
Thank you for the presentations.Let us ask ourselves the questions raised by the first team of panelist- The Place of Accountability-to ourselves and to the people we serve. State-Society Relations- the ability and freedom given to society to decide not just who drives their development agenda (electoral democracy) but how this is done (continuous Participatory Democracy)-should be at the heart of the dialogue today. No amount of protocols can replace this. Governance demands two things- Legitimacy to Govern and Accountability to the Governed. These are universal and not necessarily 'African"
Anonymous from
Wed, October 17, 2012 at 05.15 am
what a wonderful world 2015 will be.keep updating us on whats going and we will contribute effectively.we cant wait to change this world!
Anonymous from
Thu, October 11, 2012 at 10.02 am
The New Development Agenda: Post-2015 Global and The consultation process on governance and the post-2015 framework is very much helpful to African countries,
particularly in terms of development and political issues.

abdiasis
Anonymous from
Thu, October 11, 2012 at 09.31 am
World Life Book Association is strongly support all Worldwewant 2015 goals because we belieave that all people must come together to work side by side to develope and to create structures, conditions to fighte the poverty in the world and try to create one sustainable world where every man and women the can live in peace and in harmony with the nature and with others nations world wide
Anonymous from
Thu, October 11, 2012 at 08.44 am
Why is good governance important for development? Good Governance is important for development for four main reasons:

1. Its helps avoid continuing setbacks and therefore eternal recommencement: Institutional destruction-reconstruction-destruction; instead of institutional and organizational reshaping and consolidating
2. Its helps built development on solid institutional and organization pillars in which development stakeholders can trust and relay regardless of historical weakness and perspectives of each country.
3. Its leads to rise up and utilize the full human development potential to increase the humanity’s asset for our well being and the well being of our posterity and the coming generations.
4. Its favors partnerships, investments, creativity and facilities to address relevant development issues (wherever and whenever they occur) that can lead to human development progress by creating confident and secured development environment.

Cheers,

Isidore
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