Ghana is to host the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) cluster meeting in Accra from July 14-17 to review economic and development advances made by sub-Saharan Africa over the last decade.
The meeting under the theme: “The African Moment: Seizing the Opportunity for Transformational Development,” also seeks to examine the best ways to tackle the region’s most important challenges in a deliberate, cohesive and sustained way.
The Accra Meeting would also assess the prospects and realities of the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) progress in Africa, with emphasis on lessons learned and practical actions to accelerate progress towards MDGs.
Briefing the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Monday, a team of UNDP officials including Mr Tegegnework Gettu, Regional Director, Regional Bureau for Africa, Ms Harmandip Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, Resident Coordinator, Mr Kamil Kayode Kamaluddeen, Country Director noted the meeting would confront the challenges Africa faced going forward whilst recognizing the successes of the past decade.
Mr Gettu said other issues to be discussed would include; new perspectives to create jobs and income growth; Information Technology and Connectivity in Africa; climate change; the fight against HIV/AIDS; tuberculosis and malaria.
As part of the programme, series of roundtable discussions would examine climate adaptation and mitigation opportunities as well as managing risks in the realm of crisis prevention and recovery.
Mr Gettu noted that after a long period of economic and social stagnation, Africa achieved significant economic and development gains over the last decade.
“These gains are due to a favourable global economic context, underpinned by improvements in governance and policy formulation and implementation,” he noted.
He said now that Africa and the world economy appeared set for an economic rebound, sustaining a strong and resilient recovery in Africa and accelerating the momentum for a development breakthrough to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) would be essential tasks.
Mr Gettu noted that Africa was still vulnerable to major risks including global economic volatility and external shocks; serious political crises and conflict, and demographic pressure as well as climatic change.
Ms Sandhu-Rojon noted that Ghana was chosen due mainly to its democratic development, its commitment and progress for attaining the MDGs agenda and its stable economic growth.
Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister of Information commended UNDP for its contribution to the social-economic development of the country.
“The Government of President John Evans Atta Mills is committed to the attainment of the MDGs objective, as posterity has ordained the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to steer affairs of the nation for its realization.
“This is a challenge we pledged to in our Election 2008 manifesto and we are committed to….we inherited some good programmes such as the School Feeding Programme and the Capitation Grant”.
“We have improved upon them by increasing the amount and also adding free uniform and textbooks, all geared towards the realisation of the MDGs”.
Ms Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator would lead the discussion and also hold discussion with President Mills, Ministers of State, Women Leaders and cross section of civil society organisations.
The four-day meeting would be attended by 40 UNDP Resident Representatives across the region, as well as heads of other UN agencies, regional institutions, experts from the academia and political spheres.