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Africa Renewal. 2005 Oct; 19(3):21.Africa will not be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) unless it is able to mobilize all stakeholders, including the private sector, concluded more than 200 participants at a conference in London on 4 July. Coming on the eve of the Group of Eight summit in Scotland and on the same day as the opening of the African Union summit in Libya, the event formally launched a project of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), "Bending the Arc," which aims to encourage businesses in Africa to advance the MDGs. The meeting was organized by the NEPAD Secretariat, the African Business Roundtable (ABR) and the United Nations. It also received sponsorship from Coca-Cola, Visa International, Nestlé and other corporations. Making Africa more attractive to business is crucial if "we are to end Africa's dependency on aid and ensure the self-sustaining growth that is needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Africa," said Mr. Bamanga Tukur, president of the ABR and chair of the NEPAD Business Group. Mr. Mark Malloch Brown, chief of staff to the UN Secretary-General, lauded the project's aim, since achieving the MDGs "is beyond the reach of government alone." But he also cautioned against "pure private sector solutions" that may push the costs of water or information technologies out of reach of the poor. Africa needs "creative partnerships, where public guarantees, strong public regulations and, possibly, public start-up funds create the incentives and regulatory frameworks to allow the private sector to do its bit, and start to connect people to these vital infrastructures." (excerpt)
Fish, feminists and the FAO: translating 'gender' through different institutions in the development process.
In: Getting institutions right for women in development, edited by Anne Marie Goetz. London, England, Zed Books, 1997. 61-74.Over the last fifteen years or so, feminist analyses have apparently influenced both thinking and practice in international development agencies. The language of gender and development has been widely adopted. For example, awareness of the differences between practical and strategic gender needs is evident in the policy documentation of many multilateral and bilateral donors. However, the tendency of projects for women to 'misbehave' noted by Buvinic in 1985 is now replicated by the tendency of 'gender planning' to slip subtly and imperceptibly into the much older 'projects for women'. A relational approach to gender is replaced by a focus on women, while male gender identities lie unexamined in the background. The problem of institutionalizing gender analysis, making it more than a nagging concern on the margins, is as acute as ever: 'despite the energy and resources allocated to this work for more than a decade, Women in Development (WID) still most frequently remains an "addon" to mainstream policy and practice.' The commitment to gender analysis only rarely becomes gender-sensitive practice. More frequently it is translated into 'targeting women' and gradually exchanged for the practical exigencies of project reality. This chapter traces the process, through a case study of one donor - the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) - and one of its projects in sub-Saharan Africa. The project is not specifically for women, nor does it focus mainly on gender issues. It aims to promote small-scale fish farming as a diversification and supplement to rural livelihoods. However, gender issues gained a high profile in the stated aims of the project. I examine how these are articulated and mean different things to different people in the policy process, from headquarters in Rome to local-level bureaucracies and the farmers in contact with the project. (excerpt)