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 Le NEPAD, «qu'ossa donne de neuf»?6

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AuteurMessage
zapimax
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Nombre de messages : 654
Localisation : Washington D.C.
Date d'inscription : 14/06/2005

16062005
MessageLe NEPAD, «qu'ossa donne de neuf»?6

HIV/AIDS AND NEPAD PRIORITIES
The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa put the searchlight on the poor healthcare infrastructure in many countries, including the hardest hit nations. The healthcare system in Africa, in decline for a long time, became inundated with the needs of individuals dying of AIDS. In some countries in Southern Africa, AIDS patients occupy more than 50 percent of all hospital beds. The inadequacies in transportation, energy, telecommunications and information management became glaring in the moral battle to extend lifesaving antiretroviral drugs to Africans living with HIV/AIDS, as opponents repeatedly cited these inadequacies.
Human resource development initiatives in Africa must deal with pervasive effects of HIV/AIDS as experienced workers die, and younger workers remain at risk. As noted by the UNAIDS, the loss of transfer of knowledge between more experienced workers and younger employees, and the higher recruitment cost of replacing sick and dying workers can increase the workers' compensation budget of a typical manufacturing outfit by 10 percent or more in Africa. Far more important, the millions of young men and women that look healthy today and are potential beneficiaries of human resource initiatives may be living unknowingly with HIV that will manifest clinically in less than a decade.

The effect of HIV/AIDS on the environment is still unfolding. However, human beings, the best stewards of the environment in Africa are already at risk of HIV/AIDS. The cultural ramifications of loosing generations of citizens to AIDS will likely be significant. However, one cherished cultural tradition in Africa, the extended family system, is already under strain from the unprecedented waves of AIDS orphans. Science and technology will also take a major hit as the likely elite user die of AIDS and technical workers fall sick.


HIV/AIDS AND THE CURRENT FOCUS AREAS OF NEPAD
Peace and security in Africa may come under threat in Africa if the estimated high rates of HIV infection in the powerful African armies hold up. The World Bank, the Economic Commission for Africa and UNAIDS estimate that infective rates in the rank-and-file of national armies in Africa range between 10 and 50 percent. It is highly unlikely that Military commanders will tolerate the specter of high death rates and lack of access to lifesaving drugs. The United States Institute of Peace and the International Crisis Group have provided compelling evidence of how conflicts, massive movements of people, displaced communities, and refugee status facilitate the transmission of HIV through rape, sexual coercion, and trading sex for survival.
Economic and corporate governance, infrastructure development, enthroning transparent financial standards, establishing a Central Bank, improving agriculture output, and increasing access to markets, domestic and abroad, depend on skilled and productive workforce in the public and private sectors. HIV/AIDS remains a formidable threat to the current and future workforce in Africa.
WHAT TO DO
HIV/AIDS is a major impediment to the lofty goals and objectives of NEPAD. I believe that African leaders should immediately adopt HIV/AIDS remedial efforts as one of the focus areas of NEPAD, and set in motion a machinery to translate the Abuja 2001 declaration on HIV/AIDS into a working document for the forthcoming meeting with G-8 nations. The HIV/AIDS working document should address critical issues such as access to antiretroviral drugs, culturally appropriate information, education and communication (IEC) campaigns, and mobilization of Africans everywhere to fight the epidemic. The working document should define the relationship between NEPAD and other players in international AIDS remedial efforts, and document the parameters of aid for development programs regarding HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS estimates that at least 80 percent of resources needed to fight AIDS in Africa will come from external sources). Additionally, the working document should set out specific parameters for accelerated debt relief in exchange for verifiable investments in HIV/AIDS remedial efforts, and for holding African governments accountable in national and local campaigns against the epidemic. Finally, NEPAD should be an opportunity to develop a continental response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic as part of the new African Union (AU). Although the NEPAD document alludes to the work of the Global Fund for AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, UNAIDS, and other active players in the international arena, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has the capacity to neutralize the lofty aims of African leaders enshrined in the envisaged partnership for development. With 28 million Africans living with HIV/AIDS and more than 20 million already dead, the number one development emergency in Africa deserve priority attention in NEPAD, the touted vehicle for the continent's accelerated development.


About the author: Dr. Chinua Akukwe (cakukwe@att.net) is a former Vice Chairman of the National Council for International Health (NCIH), Washington, DC now known as the Global Health Council, and currently serves on the Board of the Constituency for Africa, Washington, DC

Letter to the Editor
From the Canadian High Commissioner to South Africa

THE EDITOR, MAIL AND GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER

Dear Mr. Barrel,

Your editorial entitled "The great betrayal" in last week's edition quoted me from a recent presentation I delivered on the G-8 and NEPAD at the Africa Institute of South Africa. I wish to clarify the point I made concerning NEPAD and Zimbabwe.

The emphases of NEPAD on good political and economic governance, including plans to develop a peer review mechanism, are among the features of the initiative that have attracted the interest of the international community. NEPAD's peer review mechanism had not yet been developed at the time of the March presidential elections in Zimbabwe. Nonetheless, many observers expressed concern that an unwillingness of Africa's leaders, especially those promoting NEPAD, to criticize publicly the violence and intimidation in the lead-up and following the elections had the potential to undermine the credibility of the commitment of the continent's leadership to implement a meaningful peer review mechanism. In this regard, I described Zimbabwe as a "first test" for NEPAD.

The decision of the Commonwealth troika, which included two members of the NEPAD Steering Committee (Presidents Mbeki and Obasanjo), to suspend Zimbabwe from the councils of the Commonwealth for a year was widely seen as a demonstration of that commitment. It sent a signal that key African leaders were serious about good governance and taking action against regimes that grossly violated their people's human rights. In this context, I said that NEPAD had passed its first test - it was clear that international interest in supporting NEPAD remained strong after the Zimbabwe elections. I did not suggest in any way that the situation in Zimbabwe was satisfactory. Indeed, I predicted that Zimbabwe would continue to be a challenge for African leaders and a test of their commitment to NEPAD principles. Canada continues to be extremely concerned about the situation in that country including the ongoing violation of basic human rights.

Canada is committed to working with African partners to support the implementation of NEPAD which represents, I believe, the most promising continent-wide initiative in recent years to address issues of poverty, underdevelopment and marginalization of much of Africa. The success of NEPAD in maintaining the interest of partner countries and, most importantly, in attracting private sector investment, will ultimately depend on the commitment of African leaders to implement with determination the principles of good governance envisaged by NEPAD.

Sincerely,

Lucie Edwards, HIGH COMMISSIONER
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