Sunday, May 25, 2008

Africa Day - Great Reasons To Celebrate This Africa day!



25 May 2008 17:29 Africa/Lagos

Africa day - great reasons to celebrate this Africa day!

London, 25 May/GNN/ --

DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT News Release issued by The Government
News Network on 25 May 2008
DFID MEDIA BRIEFING

Every year, the African Union celebrates Africa Day. This year, people
in the UK will join in the celebrations at the Mayor's event in Trafalgar
Square on Monday 26th May. It is a chance to celebrate success across the
continent and the contribution African people and countries make to our world.



The continent still faces many ongoing challenges but aid from the UK -
funded by British people through the Department for International Development
(DFID) - is having a real impact towards changing Africa people's lives for
the better. Here are just a few of the successes we can be proud of:

1. Combating preventable diseases in Kenya...
Malaria is one of the biggest killers of children across Africa. It kills
more than three children every minute. Thanks to aid from the UK, millions
of children under five in Kenya can now sleep safely at night under bed nets
which keep the killer mosquitoes out.

Over the last seven years, money from the UK government has helped ensure
11 million insecticide treated bed nets have been given to pregnant women
and children under 5 in Kenya (2001 and March 2008).

2. Saving Lives...
Sadly, 1 in 5 children across Africa die before they reach their fifth
birthday. In one country, Sierra Leone, the situation is particularly
bad. Babies, young children and mothers face a tough battle to survive with
the worst mortality rates in the world.

One in four children die before their fifth birthday and mothers have a one in
six chance of dying during childbirth. In comparison, in the UK, six in every
1000 children die before the age of five and 0.01% of women die in childbirth.

Thankfully, work is under way to tackle this. Support from the UK has helped
Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health to plan improved health services for its
women and children. They are now aiming to save a third more lives over the
next three years by cutting the mortality rate by 30%.

3. Sub-Saharan glass is half full...
Just over half the people living across Africa have safe and clean
water. This means millions of children die every year from easily preventable
diseases. Over the last four years, UK support has helped more than seven
million people in Sub-Saharan Africa gain access to clean water and sanitation.



4. More teachers + free books = extra school children in Mozambique...
Over a third of children of primary school age across Sub-Saharan Africa do
not get the chance to go to school. That's over 50 million kids, almost the
population of the UK. However, more children are going to school now thanks
to DFID. In Mozambique alone we helped the government employ 11,660 teachers
in 2007 and provide free textbooks - enabling an extra 270,000 children to
go to school.

More successes!
- Combating preventable diseases in Kenya...
In Kenya, UK funding for the social marketing of condoms and selected civil
society projects, has contributed to HIV rates falling from 18.1% in 2006
to 15.6% in 2007.

- Saving today and spending for tomorrow in Nigeria...
UK support and advocacy has helped the Government of Nigeria implement
a system for monitoring federal debt relief gains of $750 million a year
ensuring they are spent on key priorities and have identified savings of
£850m in 2007 Federal Budget to be invested in roads & power.

- Africans protecting Africa...
Since 2004/05 some 11,000 African peacekeepers have received pre-deployment
training through the UK-supported Africa Conflict Prevention Pool. These
troops from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Gambia and Rwanda have served
with the African Union (AU) Mission in Sudan, with the United Nations (UN)
Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and with the UN in Burundi.

- Education schemes in Ghana...
Social protection schemes in Ghana supported by the UK ensured that nearly
409,000 school children in poor communities would not go hungry and have
a better quality of life. In 2007, the UK funded the training of around
134,000 Ghanaian teachers provide important messages to their students on
prevention of the HIV and AIDS.

- Bumper harvest in Malawi
With UK support to Malawi's seed and fertiliser subsidy, 2007 saw the largest
maize surplus ever recorded, benefiting 2 million households. The numbers
in acute food need fell to zero in 2007 - from 5m in 2005 and 830,000 in 2006.

- Farmers rights on track in Rwanda...
UK support has prepared the way for the Rwanda Government to issue an
estimated 7.9 million land titles, giving farmers the confidence to invest
in new seeds and technologies, and maintain the productivity of their plots
for the long term.

- Customs become accustomed to better ways of working...
In Mozambique the UK has helped strengthen customs support leading to the
doubling of customs revenues from 1996 to 2005. Goods now clear customs 40
times faster and better anti-smuggling controls have been introduced.

For more information and case studies, please call DFID's press office on
020 7023 0600 or log on to www.dfid.gov.uk

Notes to Editors
* The Department for International Development (DFID) is leading the British
government's fight against global poverty. www.dfid.gov.uk
* Africa Day commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity
in 1963, which became the African Union in July 2002. www.africa-union.org
* In 2007/08 DFID spent approximately £1.17 billion on bilateral and regional
programmes to reduce poverty in Africa and over the next three years we plan
to spend a further £1.25 billion in 2008/09, £1.50 billion in 2009/10 and
£1.75 billion in 2010/11 in Africa.



Source: Department for International Development

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