Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

The (other) big election

Posted in International Development, News and that by Adam Westbrook on October 28, 2008

Thanks to E.K. Bensah for reminding me of another big vote taking place before Christmas.

Yes, with seven days to go all eyes are on the upcoming US elections. But I’ll also be following Ghana’s vote in December.

Unlike the yanks, Ghana has no less than 8 candidates for president ranging from Prof. John Atta Mills to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

And whatever you might think of elections on the African continent, the website of Ghana’s electoral commission suggests this is a poll sat firmly in the 21st century.

From my own experience covering a tiny by-election there way back in 2003, people take politics really seriously!

Still it’ll be sad to see the back of John Kufour, possibly the world leader with the deepest voice!

Accra Aid conference: “priorities need to change”

Posted in International Development by Adam Westbrook on September 7, 2008
Can we halve poverty by 2015?

Can we halve poverty by 2015?

I haven’t written about development issues for ages – but last week’s Aid Effectiveness conference in Ghana is a good place to wade briefly back in.

Held in Accra, it was designed to find ways of making aid from developed countries have more impact in the countries they’re supposed to be helping.

Three years after the Paris Conference – where 100 countries agreed to do more to sort this out – it is still a huge problem.

Countries like the UK, France, Italy and America all promised to donate more cash – but shamefully they’re not making good on their promises.

“In simple terms” says Professer Jeffrey Sachs in an interview on Hardtalk, “the limiting factor holding back our progress towards the [Millennium Developement] Goals is the richest countries coming up with the money they have promised.

“We live in an age of cynicism and resistance, but we are not asking goverments to do anything they have not already promised. Some countries are delivering on their promises made inĀ  2005 but where are France, Germany and Italy? If these countries are lagging then by far the biggest lagger is the US where we are committing only 0.17% of our income to development assistance.”

There’s only seven years left until we’re supposed to have reaced the Millennium Development Goals. At this rate that won’t happen.

Meanwhile blogger par excellence in Accra EK Benah was at the conference in Accra last week – check out his posts here.