Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Perspectives on Governance: Statements from the European Development Days

Brussels, 17 November. The closing session of the European Development Days generated a wealth of views and perspectives on governance in development - the central issue of the event. Here we share a few:

Louis MichelEU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid

‘The aim of the Development Days is to break with the past’
‘The development of Africa needs to be thought through by Africa itself; this is a fundamental responsibility’

Amadou Toumani TouréPresident of Mali

‘We should govern together but respect the diversity’
‘Decentralisation is the key of democratisation in Mali’
‘The difficulty of governance resides in the organisation of the State’

Paul KagamePresident of Rwanda

‘Governance takes different forms and practices’
‘Good governance is also an effective use of resources’
‘Good governance can only come from within, with external help from our partners’

Boni YayiPresident of Benin

‘Poverty has grown during the last years because of bad governance’
‘Now is the moment to design a clear plan of action and bring people to change’
‘A strong government would guarantee peace’
‘Our development depends on our human resources’

Pierre NkurunzizaPresident of Burundi

‘Burundi knows that dialogue and cooperation is the only way to success in development and cooperation’
‘Only dialogue will bring us on the road to peace’

Marc RavalomananaPresident of Madagascar

‘I am in favour of responsible governance’
‘We need to make a qualitative step forward in development’
‘We have to be ambitious to get out of the spiral of poverty’

Festus MogaePresident of Botswana

‘Development cannot be a one-way street’
‘Do not use your wealth and our poverty to impose yourself’

Mamadou TandjaPresident of Niger

‘The lack of ownership of the Africans themselves is the only cause of the lack of development’

Meles ZenawiPrime Minister of Ethiopia

‘Democracy cannot be imposed from outside’

Aisatu N’jie-SaidyVice President of Gambia

‘If things do not change, the MDGs will not be achieved by 2015’

‘Populations from Europe and Africa are looking forward to the improvement of the critical dialogue between our continents, and it does not come to my mind that we won’t succeed, because we cannot afford a failure’

Navinchandra RamgoolamPrime Minister of Mauritius

‘Support from the international community is essential to achieve our objectives’

Yoweri MuseveniPresident of Uganda

‘Export of raw materials is bad governance: we are subsidizing your coffee!’
‘Part of the problem is the interference from outside. You have to lead by example’
‘If you cannot help, do not obstruct development’

Luis AmadoMinister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal

‘Development cooperation is the main issue of this time’
‘Europe has a big responsibility for the management of development in the rest of the world’
‘European development cooperation policies are very much conditioned by colonial usages and mechanisms’

Karin KortmannState Secretary for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany

‘Europe has to work as Europe and should not be looking at the interests of each Member State’
‘Europe needs a strong Africa’
‘This is a great opportunity to build new confidence bridges and recover those lost’
‘We want to globalise solidarity’
‘We have to be better and more effective and we have to mobilise aid’

Desmond TutuNobel Peace Prize

‘Africa, the cradle of humankind, is a sleeping giant’
‘We can bring a wonderful contribution to the international community’
‘Development and prosperity require peace and stable governance’
‘The gift that we Africans can give to the world is the concept of UBUNTU. ‘This concept says that I need you to be you, I need you to be me, persons need other persons to be a person, to give a sense to the things you do… the only way we can be human is together, all of us’

For more information, check the Euforic dossiers on the European Development Days and on governance.

Story contributed by Eduardo Rejón Parrilla and Jacques van Laar.