News / Africa

    Donors Pledge $4.2 Billion for Mali

    Delegates participate at the Donor Conference for development in Mali at the EU Headquarters in Brussels, May 15, 2013.
    Delegates participate at the Donor Conference for development in Mali at the EU Headquarters in Brussels, May 15, 2013.
    Lisa Bryant
    International donors have pledged more than $4.2 billion for development and peace-building efforts in Mali, a sum that far surpassed initial expectations for the pledging conference held Wednesday in Brussels.
     
    The donations exceeded the $2.5 billion Malian officials hoped international donors would provide the West African nation. At a press conference in Brussels, French President Francois Hollande, who co-hosted the conference along with the European Union officials, characterized it as a big success.
     
    "Now peace must succeed in Mali, the ingredients for that are there," said Hollande, explaining that development assistance will benefit all parts of the country by targeting critical areas such as water and infrastructure. "Malian authorities are determined to keep to their targeted July 28 date for presidential elections and Malians are united in wanting good governance."
     
    At the start of Wednesday's conference in Brussels, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had encouraged donations, saying the money was needed to secure Mali's peace and stability.
     
    "Development needs money, and today it is a meeting at the initiative of the European Union, France and Mali to get pledges from the international community to do very concrete things like helping farmers, implement water and electricity, to allow the development," said Fabius.
     
    Malian Foreign Minister Tiena Coulibaly said the crisis with the militants is one that could spread to neighboring regions.
     
    "Mali is an important country in the heart of Occidental Africa [west Africa] and you know that the political dynamics and the endemic violence in the Sahel region are part of a crisis that has been going on for several years and that could spread and touch other countries, so that is why it is important for the international community to stand together," said Coulibaly.
     
    Echoing that sentiment, Mali's interim President Diacounde Traore said that, beyond money, the Brussels conference underscored a common commitment to battle the terrorism and jihadism that poses a threat well beyond Mali's borders.
     
    "The fight against international terrorism helped fuel the extraordinary mobilization on behalf of Mali," he said, thanking the international community for its help.
     
    Mali plunged into turmoil last year following a coup that allowed Islamist fighters to take control of large parts of the north. In recent months, French and African fighters have routed many of the extremists, and a United Nations peacekeeping force is expected to deploy as of early July to help stabilize the country.
     
    The Brussels pledges target not only economic development but also peace- and democracy-building efforts.
     
    "Follow-up mechanisms will be put in place to ensure the pledges on behalf of Mali bear fruit," said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
     
    The United Nations Security Council approved a new peacekeeping force for Mali that is expected to take over July 1 from an African-led force now in the country. Many of those African troops will become part of the U.N. mission.
     
    The Security Council resolution includes a one-year authorization with up to 11,200 military personnel and 1,440 international police.

    You May Like

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.