Ombudsmen key to Africa’s achievement of MDGs – Adv. Madonsela
Ombudsmen and Mediators are key to Africa’s achievement and delivery of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), says Public Protector of South Africa and Executive Secretary of the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association (AOMA) Adv. Thuli Madonsela. She was addressing AOMA’s 10th Executive Committee meeting in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso this week.
The Public Protector said the Ombudsman institution is positioned to play an important role in monitoring good governance in the African Union member states, noting that good governance was key to the implementation of Africa’s development agenda, including the MDGs.
She informed the meeting that, according the Food and Agriculture Organization, only 14 countries, to date, have reached the goal of halving the number of undernourished people. The Public Protector stated that, according to the UN, 1.4 billion people across the globe lived below the poverty line and on the razor edge of starvation.
“As Ombudsmen committed individually and collectively with promoting good governance in Africa, it should concern us that only one African country, Ghana, is among the 16 states that have delivered on their promises regarding the eradication of extreme hunger,” she said
The Public Protector added that organizations such as AOMA needed to accelerate their efforts of drawing the attention of leaders to the injustices of maladministration and corruption as part of their development efforts in the pursuit of the African renaissance and MDGs.
“Is there room for AOMA exploring the extent to which good governance lapses, including corruption, the absence of value based decision-making or blatant indifference in government processes may be a key contributor to Africa’s failure to reach the MDG milestones that were committed to by its member states?” she asked.
The Public Protector urged her counterparts to bring to the attention of governments governance issues that hamper governments’ ability to deliver on the eradication of poverty, ending inequality and addressing health challenges such as infant and maternal mortality.
She also said there was an urgent need for a collective approach to problems in the continent. She called on AOMA to consider partnering with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and other institutions through Memoranda of Understanding to monitor governance processes in the continent.
The Public Protector further called for support for the mediators and ombudsmen in countries affected by civil wars and political instability, saying their offices were important to ensuring that democratic practices and the rule of law were upheld in those countries.
The opening ceremony was addressed by the President of AOMA and Ombudsman of Angola, Dr Paulo Tjipilika, who emphasized the importance of AOMA’s participation in peace efforts in the continent. The Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, Honourable Luc-Adolphe Tiao, also addressed the ceremony. Members of the AOMA EXCO later met with the President of Burkina Faso, His Excellency Pres Blaise Compraore, at his palace. The President applauded AOMA’s contribution to democracy and peace in member states and committed himself to supporting the association’s initiatives.
Issued by the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association
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