Integrity and transparency needed for 'Bottom-Up Poverty Plan' in Africa

Alongside a welcome focus on greater accountability in G8 development promises and increased investments in child and maternal health, Canada will be ‘reinvigorating the global campaign against extreme poverty’ at this year’s G8 and G20 meetings.

The basis for this new fight against poverty will lay in bottom-up, citizen-led approaches which will promote sustainable development. Economic growth observed recently in Africa will be built upon, ensuring the devolvement of development, ensuring that powers are diffused and the ‘integrity of leaders and governance insitiutions firmly takes centre stage.’

There are three considerations for this plan. Firstly, accountability efforts by civil society and think tanks in Africa must be expanded – this should not repeat the past mistake of ‘lionizing’ specific political leaders.

Secondly, there must be assertion of transparency, and continued vigilance so that these standards do not slip. This will require investment in systems which allow this, and most importantly the keeping of promises by donor nations.

Thirdly, the ‘right kinds’ of investment in Africa need to be encouraged; in areas such as renewable energy and this summer’s football World Cup in South Africa.

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