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extreme_poverty
The world has halved extreme poverty rates and almost halved preventable child deaths since 1990. Numbers of those dying of AIDS have been nearly halved as well, and about 10 million are now on life saving anti-AIDS treatment.

The question remains whether or not we can feasibly eradicate these issues by 2030. There are two possible outcomes that moral leaders, Malala, Desmond Tutu and Graca Machel have discussed: continuing on this road and ending extreme poverty, and failing to achieve our goal.

These leaders have warned that this next year, 2015, could be a year of great opportunity, but also holds a huge risk. In a letter written by these leaders, they call on other world leaders to make next year heavily influential in the fight against poverty. A quote taken from the letter:

“Down another path we have failed to build on progress, but have allowed the injustice of poverty, hunger and pandemics to spread… This is an entirely plausible outcome of a complacent business as usual approach to 2015.”

These leaders are giving a firm warning that if things aren’t taken seriously in 2015, the path toward ending extreme poverty could be severely stunted. The letter ends with motivation, saying that we should look with confidence toward a future where equal opportunity is given.

This week many decisions are being made and this could mean the difference between a poverty free world or back tracking. Diplomats from U.N. member states are finalizing a draft blueprint for the post 2015 development agenda since next year the U.N.’s development framework, Millennium Development Goals (MDG), will reach its deadline and will need to be replaced.

MDG was formulated in September of 2000 and focuses on eight main issues that serve as guides for organizations to work on. The number one on this list was to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.  As 2015 approaches and a new development plan is set in place, eradicating global poverty by 2030 is the new goal moving forward.

Brooke Smith

Sources: World Bank, ONE, ONE 2, ONE 3
Photo: Flickr

roosevelt Quotes from World Leaders on Human Rights
1. David Cameron, UK Prime Minister
“If we are going to try to get across to the poorest people in the world that we care about their plight and we want them to join one world with the rest of us, we have got to make promises and keep promises.”

2. Irene Khan, former Secretary-General of Amnesty International
“Poverty is not only about income poverty, it is about the deprivation of economic and social rights, insecurity, discrimination, exclusion and powerlessness. That is why human rights must not be ignored but given even greater prominence in times of economic crisis.”

3. Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

“Discrimination and multiple deprivations of human rights are also frequently part of the problem, sentencing entire populations to poverty… It is surely a matter of outrage that over half a million women die annually from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. This is nearly half the annual global death toll, and arguably, a direct reflection of the disempowerment of women in social, economic and political life.”

4. Jesse Jackson, American Statesman and Civil Rights Activist
“The great responsibility that we have today is to put the poor and the near poor back on front of the American agenda.”

5. Pope Francis “A way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table, but above all to satisfy the demands of justice, fairness and respect for every human being.”

6. Dalai Lama XIV “No matter what part of the world we come from, we are all basically the same human beings. We all seek happiness and try to avoid suffering. We have the same basic human needs and concerns. All of us human beings want freedom and the right to determine our own destiny as individuals and as peoples. That is human nature.”

7. Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Human Rights Activist
“I don’t know why people have divided the whole world into two groups, west and east. Education is neither eastern nor western. Education is education and it’s the right of every human being.”

8. Pranab Mukherjee, President of India 
“There is no humiliation more abusive than hunger.”

9. Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations
“Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy and sustainable human development.”

10. Barack Obama, President of the United States
“This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many.”

11. Desmond Tutu, Noble Peace Prize Laureate
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

12. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
“History proves that all dictatorships, all authoritarian forms of government are transient. Only democratic systems are not transient. Whatever the shortcomings, mankind has not devised anything superior.”

13. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian President
“The world is in need of an encompassing and of course, just and humane order in the light of which the rights of all are preserved and peace and security are safeguarded.”

14. Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, Cuban Foreign Minister
“This problem will knock on the doors of all of us, whether through uncontrolled and unmanageable migration flows, by means of diseases and epidemics, as a result of the conflicts generated by poverty and hunger, or as a result of events which are today unforeseeable.”

15. Warren Buffett, American Investor and Philanthropist
“Someone is sitting in the shade today, because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

Tyson Watkins

Sources: Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights: Quotes, Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights: Statement by Navenethem Pillay, Catholics Confront Global Poverty, Dalai Lama, Think Exist, Brainy Quote

Photo: Vintage 3D

elsie_kanza
As one of Forbe’s 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa, Elsie Kanza is not to be overlooked. Born in Kenya to Tanzanian parents, she obtained an education in the United States and in Kenya. She received her BA in International Business Administration from the United States International University – Africa, her Masters of Science in Finance from the University of Strathclyde and her Masters of Arts in Development Economics from Williams College.

Kanza then went on to become an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow in 2008 and a World Economic Forum World Leader in 2011. Until recently, Kanza served as a personal assistant and economic advisor to the Republic of Tanzania president, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, making her an extremely influential political figure in Africa. Now, she serves as perhaps her most important role yet: director for Africa at the World Economic Forum. The World Economic Forum is a Geneva-based non-profit organization that works to convene global leaders in business, academics, and politics to engage in shaping global agendas.

Through this position, Kanza’s team has been focusing on addressing important issues in Africa including climate change, food security, infrastructure development, and resources management. Kanza works specifically on connecting senior government officials in sub-Saharan Africa with leasers at the World Economic Forum to facilitate collaboration. In an interview with In2EastAfrica, Kanza said that the new job is essentially an extension of her last job as an advisor because she is working so closely with government officials. She develops partnerships that will help her team achieve their broader development goals.

This year’s World Economic Forum conference on Africa was held in May in Cape Town, South Africa. Over 1,000 people participated from 80 different countries. The conference focused heavily on economic grown and competitiveness in Africa as well as infrastructure development. In an interview with Forbes, Kanza said, “There’s a real optimism in Africa at the moment, but also caution: Africa’s leaders know that although they have a unique development opportunity, growth is by no means guaranteed. We dedicated a number of sessions to discussing how Africa can diversify its economic base, create more and better jobs and improve competitiveness through further reform.”

As a powerful young leader, Kanza is also dedicated to promoting youth leadership in Africa as well. She particularly focuses on helping the World Economic Forum’s “Shapers” community which consists of 20-30 year olds working on development projects across Africa.

– Emma McKay

Sources: Forbes
Photo: Youtube

Developing Africa Through Social EnterpriseIn 2007, 22 young Africans, emerging leaders in the community, business, and government sectors, were selected to participate in the Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme in Johannesburg. Implemented by the African Leadership Institute, the objective of the yearlong program was to develop the next generation of leaders in Africa.

Gbenga Sesan of Lagos, one of the 22 Tutu Fellows, was inspired to launch an employment and training program aimed at helping his fellow Nigerians secure full-time jobs. His project works to provide IT, entrepreneurial and communication skills to unemployed but highly-skilled Nigerians. Since Sesan completed the fellowship program in 2007, he has been able to help 13,000 Nigerians find work in a country where 90% of graduates are unable to find full-time employment.

Another Tutu Fellow, Tracey Webster, had left her banking career in London to found a charity that would care for forgotten children. By the time she left the charity to run the Branson’s Centre for Entrepreneurship in South Africa, 22,000 children were being fed, clothed and educated. Webster now works with the government and through micro-entrepreneurship to create jobs and make it easier for young South Africans to start their own ventures.

In the fellowship program, Webster was taught that leadership was “understanding what needs to change for our dreams to come true, and then influencing the right people and working in partnership to get the job done.”

Established in 2003, the African Leadership Institute was founded on the importance of good leadership and governance and focused on nurturing leadership talents in high potential Africans. The course places much focus on social entrepreneurship, ethical business, and the importance of business as a force for social change. One of the core teachings of the program is the philosophy of “ubuntu,” which Archbishop Desmond Tutu explains means “interconnectedness.” Tutu says that at the center of “ubuntu” is the idea that “you are connected and what you do affects the whole world.”

At the core of the fellowship program are a social enterprise and the objective of finding internal solutions and a more sustainable Africa that can develop itself free from foreign aid and philanthropy.

– Rafael Panlilio

Source: The Guardian