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Archive for June 5th, 2008

UN boss calls for action to curb hunger, instability

Posted by African Press International on June 5, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no source.apa

The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, on Wednesday during a press conference on the sidelines of the three-day food crisis summit convening in the Italian capital, called for real action to boost next years harvests.

This will enable us to avoid and reduce the instability in the countries because hunger leads to instability,” he said.

In his address at the food crisis summit which opened Tuesday, the UN boss said there was a need for US$15 to 20 billion to eliminate global hunger. The day before however, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) set such needs at US$30 billion per annum.

“We are duty bound to do something and together. This is a fight we cannot afford to lose”, Ban stressed, adding that he received a petition of 300,000 signatures from around the world urging leaders worldwide to take real action to eliminate hunger.

“We call on you to take immediate action to address the global food crisis by mobilising emergency funds to prevent starvation, removing perverse incentives to turn food into bio-fuels and managing financial speculation”, the petition read.

“The leaders taking part at this conference must therefore leave Rome with a concrete commitment and adopt an emergency response to curb hunger”, Ban said, calling for action to offer more food to women and children.

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African Press Intetnational – api

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Rwandan leader calls for efficiency in regional integration

Posted by African Press International on June 5, 2008

Publisher: Korir, africanpress@getmail.no

Rwandan President Paul Kagame who is attending the Sullivan summit in Arusha, Tanzania, on Wednesday called for more efficient regional integration as an effective means of addressing Africas challenges of trade and sustainable economic development, a press statement said onThursday.

Kagame was addressing hundreds of delegates who included African business executives and foreign personalities like former United States ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young, at the ongoing 8th edition of the Leon H. Sullivan summit, being held at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC).

The Rwandan leader stressed that only increased direct foreign investment, industrialization, and product value addition supported by efficiency in regional integration will ensure Africas escape from poverty and dependency on foreign aid.

The absence of regional economic infrastructure is a major hindrance to Africas growth and socio- economic transformation. Each additional day an export transaction is held up in a country, that country distances itself from its trading partners by 1 percent, Kagame said, lamenting the unnecessary administrative bureaucratic procedures which make doing business in Africa very difficult and that it is counter-productive in the fight against poverty.

Kagame also questioned the wisdom of transporting a container of goods from Mombasa to Kigali at a cost of $5,600, while the cost from Mombasa to Antwerp in Belgium costs only $1, 200.

He added that the delay in carrying out commercial transactions was not only due to poor infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, but also the result of regional bureaucratic obstacles such as cumbersome trans-border customs procedures, clearing, cargo inspections and corruption.

The Sullivan Summits are a bridge between the Unites States and Africa, serving as a forum for economic and cultural cooperation. They bring together the worlds political and business leaders, delegates representing international organizations and academic institutions.

Kigali has been chosen to host the next Leon H. Sullivan summit in 2010.

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