Saturday, June 16, 2007

Kofi Annan to lead Africa’s green revolution

CAPE TOWN - Nobel laureate and former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan is to take a leading role in paving the way for a green revolution in Africa to curb hunger by boosting agriculture, it was announced thursday.

Annan’s appointment as the chairman of the board of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), a public charity initiative which aims to reduce hunger and poverty, was announced at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town.

‘I hope in 10 to 20 years it will be possible to double, if not triple, agricultural productivity. It is not just a dream, it is a dream that will be backed up with action,’ Annan said in a speech at the forum.

Africa was the only region where overall food security and livelihoods were deteriorating, according to Annan. He pledged to help in reversing the trend by working to create ‘an environmentally sustainable, uniquelyeffective prosecution oul that our assistance will contribute to helping solve the situation,’ he added. ‘We will do as much as we can do to help the as coordination between agencies.

‘The main problem seems to be the implementation of the measures against these recognized negative facts,’ he said. ‘This is what we are focusing on. The mission is trying to be practical ... in what they are recommending.’

The mission will meet with officials of the Commission on Human Rights, the Supreme Court, the armed forces, th the unabated political killings and attacks. They have criticised the Philippine government for failing to stop the murders, which leftist groups have blamed on the military.

According to the human rights group Karapatan, close to 900 people have become victims of extra-judicial killings since 2001. Most of the victims have been leftist activists, labour leaders, human rights workers and journalists.

Karapatan has also documented some 180 cases of forced disappearances of mostly leftist and political activists in the same period.

Kofi Annan to lead Africa’s green revolution