Developed world contributing less resources to Africa

By Michael Appel; tel: (012) 314-2419

Beijing - Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, whilst on an official visit to China, highlighted that developed nations were committing too little resources to the development of Africa.

"The Millennium Summit was meant to be a clarion call by the leadership of the world: a call to war against poverty and inhumanity and a statement of commitment to the reality of our independence.

"Regrettably, it is now a matter of fact that the resolve so eloquently captured in that declaration would constitute a false promise.

"Since then what we have seen and heard are more promises [from developed nations], but conspicuously inadequate commitment of resources," said Dr Dlamini Zuma, Wednesday.

The minister is in China on an official visit to celebrate 10 years of sound diplomatic relations between South Africa and China.

Delivering her address to China's leaders of government and business, Dr Dlamini Zuma highlighted the importance of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in establishing decent standards of living, fighting poverty, unemployment and disease.

"The world should move decisively towards ensuring the dignity of human beings irrespective of gender, race, colour and religion.

"Understanding that there is no dignity in poverty, in hunger, in homelessness and ignorance.

"Equally, there is no real dignity in being rich and a spectator to human misery around you and in any part of this planet," said the minister.

Quoting Former President Nelson Mandela, the minister said a people centred world of liberty bounds us together in the pursuit of the goals of freedom from want, freedom from hunger, freedom from deprivation, freedom from ignorance, freedom from suppression and freedom from fear.

This, she said, would ensure security for all because there could be no security when millions were devastated by hunger, disease, ignorance and fear.

Compounding the effects of hunger and disease throughout the African continent is the global phenomenon of climate change.

It is widely recognised that Africa, whilst emitting the least greenhouse gases, will bare the brunt of climate changes effects.

"The developed countries have the responsibility of cutting their emissions much faster. They can afford it but it is also morally correct unless they are paying lip service to the question of saving the planet," the minister said.

The minister highlighted the need for clean and renewable energy in the South African context, in particular, as coal powered generation of energy was not sustainable and damaging the environment.

Among some of the green technologies noted by the minister were hydro, solar, wind and wave, and cleaner coal technology.

The Inga 3 hydro electric project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, utilising the immense power of the Congo River, has the potential to provide power to the whole of the Southern African Development Community.

The minister concluded by emphasising the importance of a mutually beneficial engagement between Africa and other regions of the world.

Furthermore, "we therefore wish to express our appreciation to the government of the People's Republic of China for their commitment to strategic partnership which exists between our two countries," she said.

Whilst very few African countries are on track to attaining the MDGs by the 2015 deadline, the promised funds for promoting women empowerment, universal primary education, reducing child mortality, and eradicating extreme hunger and poverty have been slow to reach Africa. - BuaNews