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Monday, April 28, 2008

Resources for Africa Obsessives (Like Me)

In just about a month, the fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) will begin with the aim of focusing on “high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners.” This might not sound particularly sexy, but coordinating aid efforts on concrete goals and principles, finding ways to encourage African “ownership” of development and solutions, and encouraging international donors to become real partners in development is a set of goals near to my heart.

That the TICAD conferences are organized by the UN (admittedly, not my favorite nor my most trusted institution) doesn’t lessen my hope that it continues to bring us closer to a prosperous set of stable, liberal, independent nations that contribute heartily to the world community.

The UN University has a site devoted to tracking interesting stories related to African development on a page within their site. Set up in a blog format, it’s a great resource for those of use who believe that Africa really can be, as TICAD believes, the “Continent of Hope and Opportunity.”

Check out the site and, if you feel so inspired, leave your critique on their site here. I’ve promised one of the organizers that I would both publicize it and offer up my critique and suggestions. I would like to be able to offer more than my own small suggestions, though--and since I’m pretty sure that the smartest people in the world read my site (I mean, they would, wouldn’t they?), I would ask for their insight.

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