Ellen Launches CAP Today

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will today, May 26, launch the Common Africa Position (CAP) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  CAP is an ambitious agenda for sustaining development in Africa, and promises that no one will live in extreme poverty by 2030.

CAP, which was adopted by a High Level Committee (HLC),  addresses critical issues of inequality, accountability, quality of services and promoting a sustainable environment, thus balancing the three pillars of sustainable development (social, economic, environmental), which may not be achieved in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which comes to an end in 2015.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the exercise is a two-day event that starts with the launch today at the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be followed by presentations and panel discussions on May 27.

Those clothed with the responsibility to draft CAP was set up during the African Union’s 2013 Summit and is chaired by President Sirleaf.

CAP builds a consensus on Africa’s post-2015 development agenda and identifies areas of priority to Africa.  It was adopted on January 32, 2014 and launched in N’djamena, Chad in March.

Members of the Cabinet, Legislature, Judiciary, the Diplomatic Corps, Heads of National Institutions and Autonomous Agencies are expected to be at the launch. The exercise is aimed at acquainting Liberians with CAP and enlightening policymakers and stakeholders on Africa’s development priorities.

The launch is expected to take place at the Bella Casa Hotel, follow by presentation and discussion with members of the private sector, civil society, academia, the media, and other stakeholders to encourage their involvement and support to events concerning the CAP.

“This position is what African nations will take to the negotiations at the UN, in the hope of securing a deal that delivers for people across our continent,” the Liberian leader said.

She said the main objective of the continental and regional consultations was to produce a demand-driven agenda from multiple stakeholders in Africa.

“In this regard, the process entails working with various partnering institutions in inclusive events through which the viewpoints of a wide range of African stakeholders including government, regional economic entities, civil society, non-governmental organizations, academia, youth, women, think-tanks, and the private sector are captured.”

Meanwhile, the HLC comprises 10 Heads of State and Government from the five regions of Africa, and it had held several consultative and technical meetings to look at the list of priorities developed by institutions around the continent to reach a consensus on the development framework that should succeed the Millennium Development Goals in September 2015.

CAP is built on six pillars including Structural Economic Transformation and Inclusive Growth, Science Technology and Innovation (STI), People-centered Development; Environmental Sustainability, Natural Resources and Natural Disaster Management and Peace and Security, and Financing Partnership for Implementation of Post-2015 Development Agenda.

In the next phase of its work, the HLC will begin negotiations with other regions of the world as well as development partners to ensure that Africa’s vision is included in the United Nations Post-2015 Global Development Agenda.

However, the biggest unanswered question now is how will the ambition of CAP communicate effectively to other UN member states? Emphasizing ambition would most likely inject interest in the CAP; energize post-2015 debates thus making it an obvious contribution to the forthcoming negotiations with other UN Member States.

It will also be great to see African governments in their preparations towards negotiations acknowledge the gaps that exist between ethnic groups, religious groups, language groups and rural-urban groups which are a significant barrier to further development, progress and the realization of human rights across Africa.

A priority of African governments through the UN negotiation should be ensuring universal and equitable access to quality healthcare without financial hardship to individuals and families.

It is known that the financial costs of healthcare can be a deterrent to families, keeping them in or pushing them back into poverty and now is the time to address this issue and secure free healthcare at the point of need. Hope African leaders become very proactive in alleviating abject poverty, illiteracy, all of which are as a result of bad governance, on the continent.

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