News / Africa

UN Official: Perception of Africa Must Change

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, accompanied by Secretary-General of the conference Cheikh Sidi Diarra, attends a news conference during the 4th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Istanbul, Turkey. (File Photo - May 9, 20
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, accompanied by Secretary-General of the conference Cheikh Sidi Diarra, attends a news conference during the 4th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Istanbul, Turkey. (File Photo - May 9, 20

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special adviser for Africa says the continent's first priority must be to change the world's perception of it as a place of war and famine. A U.N. conference dedicated to developing Africa's potential.

It is a big job, but U.N. Undersecretary-General Cheikh Sidi Diarra says Africa must undergo a perception makeover. Speaking to VOA at a U.N. conference on strengthening Africa's capacity, Diarra said changing perceptions is a two-way street, involving the international community and Africans themselves.

"We need to have of Africa the perception of a continent that has huge potential, human resources, natural resources, land resources," he said. "What we need to do is to develop this potential, to get not only aid but also partnerships in terms of foreign direct investment, and equitable trade to help Africa take advantage of its potential."

Diarra is attending the convention at Addis Ababa's United Nations Conference Center along with Deputy Secretary-General Asha Rose Migiro.

In her opening address, the deputy secretary-general highlighted Africa's strong economic growth. The continent is home to six of the world's 10 fastest-growing economies. She noted that sub-Saharan Africa is one of the few regions showing resilience against the global recession.

At the same time, Migiro says Africa is facing daunting, but not insurmountable, challenges in areas from water and sanitation, maternal health and job creation, to famine in the Horn of Africa and several armed conflicts.

Undersecretary-General Diarra urged the new generation of African leaders to rise to the twin challenges of providing good governance and raising living standards.

"They need to strengthen the macro-economic reforms they have delivered on so far, and to improve the political and economic governance, that is undertaken since the last 10 years," said Diarra. "We're seeing a new leadership of Africans coming at the helms of their countries, people who have been educated in the same schools as leaders in the West. They can perform good, deliver good result[s]."

Diarra is encouraging African leaders to look at emerging economies such as India and China, as well as newly-developed countries such as South Korea to see what has worked for them.

But for the landlocked and least developed African countries, Diarra said structural issues such as a narrow economic base will make growth more challenging.

Four hundred delegates are attending the two day conference, including the heads of U.N. funds, programs and specialized agencies working on Africa.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid