ORAL STATEMENT: 51ST ORDINARY SESSION OF THE AFRICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN AND PEOPLES‘ RIGHTS KAIRABA BEACH HOTEL, BANJUL THE GAMBIA – APRIL 18 TO 2 MAY 2012
ITEM 7(b), ECOSOC
Madam Chair of the ACHPR,
Distinguished Commissioners of the ACHPR
Distinguished delegates of the AU Organs
Members of the National Human Rights Institutions,
Colleagues if Civil Society organizations.
Ladies and gentlemen
A few countries in Africa have in place positive synergies as catalyst for realization of employment related goals and commitments to achievements of decisions taken during the first session of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Social Development held in Windhoek, 2010, Namibia in October 2008 and the 2nd Session that took place in Khartoum 2010. Even though poverty eradication in Africa has made positive steps forward, there is still unprecedented lack of political commitment to forge a strong consensus on fighting poverty. In addition, the concept of graft on the political and economic ideology of unfettered markets as the fundamental for human development and poverty reduction has been faulted by the global financial crisis which has demonstrated that unregulated markets pose a clear danger to human development.
Madam Chair, Africa needs to overcome these and pursue an economic growth that targets the reduction of structural inequality in society as a catalyst to address the underlying difficulties in structures of production, distribution and ownership and power that perpetuate the imbalance. Africa should therefore seek to pursue goals that support establishment of social inclusion and protection floors. As Africans we are lacking behind the rest of the world to enhance rights of our people to basic health services, primary education, housing, water and sanitation.
Chair, the notion that we Africans are poor and incapacitated had been proven
successfully by 15 low and middle-income countries to be a thing of
misappropriation of competency, bad governance and corruption.
These are issues that we as civil society and exercise leadership at every level to secure social protection floor, in our countries
IICP is calling on the all African governments and signatories of the Windhoek and Khartoum decisions to implement the two necessary elements of the social protection floor, which are:
1. Universal access to social services for all
2. Promote social transfer in cash or kind to guarantee income security, food security, adequate nutrition and access to essential services.
Such initiative Madam Chair, is protecting vulnerable groups through fulfillment of the African social policy action towards social inclusion. It is also suitable for African characteristics that aim to strengthen cooperation through the promotion of joint ventures among AU member states. Madam Chair, Africa must find a path to poverty eradication in accordance with its own conditions and include poverty eradication in the overall planning of its regional development. Africa should pursue protection of vulnerable groups and vigorously work towards safeguarding the hard-won outcome of poverty eradication in Africa.
In conclusion, I wish to state it is necessary for Africa to follow a path to economic growth fuelled by a shift from agriculture to industry and from industry to services. Such a measure in our view is bound to connect agriculture more productively to industry and other sectors. Create jobs through expansion of domestic production and raising the demand for locally made goods. Africa should avoid austerity measures during period of slow growth as well as promote progressive taxation (when it comes to taxation African states should seek wisdom from Republic of South Africa) and put in place regional reforms that reduce fluctuation in commodity prices and interest rates, inject agriculture subsidies when and where necessary and expand export markets for made in Africa goods and services. Madam Chair IICP is calling on authorities in Africa to link anti-poverty measures to production systems, respect for rights, good governance, accountability, transparency, broader social policies, politics and institutional needs that are consciously coordinated so that Africa is able to achieve the maximum impact for its people.
Thank you for your kind attention.