The maiden African Local Summit to discuss the development of the continent within the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), has opened at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.
The three-day programme seeks to give the participants, drawn from all over the continent, the opportunity to exchange ideas on how to create sustainable partnerships to achieve the MDGs.
The wide range of topics being discussed, include eradication of hunger and poverty, promoting gender equality and women empowerment, reducing child and maternal mortality.
Others are combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability, achieving universal primary education and global partnership for development.
The International Office of the Millennium Development Ambassadors is facilitating the event with support from the United Nations (UN).
Chief Justin Agudosi, President of the Millennium Development Ambassadors Council of Nigeria, said the summit would highlight and identify ways to exploit Africa’s enormous potentials to grow the economies of the various countries.
He said it would also create broader awareness of what has to be done to accelerate the pace of halving poverty by the year 2015.
Chief Agudosi said the expectation was that they would come out with an African Local Millennium Declaration at the end of the summit to help inspire leaders on the continent to work towards achieving the set targets of the MDGs.
He also proposed the setting up of an African Self Development Initiative to spearhead the campaign to reduce poverty in extremely deprived communities saying, the continent could not continue to rely on donor agencies and the Western world for its development.
Mr Kojo Yankah, Founder of the African University College of Communications, urged the media to highlight problems confronting the continent for prompt action to address them.