Africans Urged To Brand Their Countries Positively
Africans Urged To Brand Their Countries Positively Website
Dr. Charles R. Stith, Director, African Presidential Archives and Research Centre (APARC) at Boston University on Wednesday called on Africans to do more to brand their countries positively. He said nobody has a greater stake to brand the continent positively to the rest of the world than the people who live on the continent themselves. Dr Stith, who was also once the US Ambassador to Tanzania was speaking at the launch of the African Leaders State of Africa Report (ALSAR) 2007 in Accra. The annual report is an effort by APARC to provide an outlet for African leaders to offer an assessment of contemporary trends and developments in their respective countries. The 2007 Report is the sixth in a series of reports representing an ongoing chronicle of the progress of the countries and the vision of the heads of state featured in the publication. Key members of the Bush administration including the President, members of the U.S. House of Representatives, members of the U.S Senate, the membership of the Corporate Council on Africa, select foreign ministries and embassies, select academic institutions and members of the international media were among the 1,000 to receive the Report. The context and content of each year's Report has its emphasis; the 2007 was no different in that development by definition was not a linear process because it has ups and downs, fits and starts. Dr Stith said that development relative to the 15 African countries whose stories had been chronicled in the 2007 report had fluidity in terms of governance. The report cited South Africa President Thabo Mbeki's hotly contested battle for the African National Congress (ANC) leadership as against the orderly succession of the party since 1994 which had all the messiness that could be found in matured democracies. “Despite the fact that Kenya has been a paragon of stability, on a continent that has known more than its share of shaky regimes, this recent crisis is reminder of how fragile these budding democracies on the continent really are”. Dr Stith noted. He said, the most hopeful sign on the continent, which marked this year’s report, was the election of Ellen Johnson-Sileaf as President of Liberia. He said relative to good governance the Liberian President had made rooting out corruption in government one of her top priorities and the proof of her commitment was the requirement for public officials, from President on down, to declare their assets and net worth. He said in the health sector, for instance, Namibia had intensified efforts to address the shortage of doctors, nursing staff, and other health professionals. He said in 2006, 19 doctors, 115 registered nurses, and 287 enrolled nurses graduated and took up posts in the health system. There was expectation that approximately 17 doctors, 137 registered nurses and 415 nurses would graduate this year. He said in Ghana, one aspect of the health care challenge was expanding coverage. He said 34 percent of the population was enrolled in programmes entitling them to free care and this year they expected to achieve 55 percent coverage.