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[afro-nets] Call for Commitment to Development Goals and Budgetary Targets at the African Union Summit 2010, Uganda

Please sign and distribute widely the petition below,

To:  African Heads of State during the AU Summit July 2010

Call for Commitment to Development Goals and Budgetary Targets at the African 
Union  Summit 2010, Uganda

Will the AU Summit 2010 taking place in Kampala, Uganda from 19 to 27 July 
ensure the budgetary targets for development goals become reality?

A large proportion of the African population still lacks access to food, 
education, safe drinking water, sanitation, shelter, land, natural resources, 
employment and health care. Africa, many of whose states are failing in meeting 
the Millennium Development Goals targets, still battles with high maternal, 
child and infant mortality, HIV and Tuberculosis and related diseases.

A failure in achieving progress in health and education is linked to the 
neglect to address the social determinants of health such as education, 
employment, water, sanitation, poverty and food security.  Increasingly, 
national efforts have focused on maximizing profits and implementing policies 
that have had severe effects on health and well being of the population. As a 
result public services often do not fulfill people’s needs and past experiences 
such as structural adjustment programmes have led to cuts in governments’ 
social budgets and increased health inequalities. At the same time huge 
investments have gone into defence, mining and other sectors with limited or 
lack of priority for sectors that determine people’s health.

African heads of State have signed numerous development declarations including 
the Dakar Framework for Action-Education For All: Meeting Our Collective 
Commitments (2000); the Abuja Declaration on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Other 
Related Infectious Diseases (2001); the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and 
Food Security (2003); and Sirte Declaration on Agriculture and Water (2008). In 
signing these declarations, African Heads of State made a commitment to the 
people of Africa to improve health, education, food security and reduce 
poverty. These declarations and decisions, amongst other strategies, commit 
governments to allocate at least 20% of their budgets to education, 15% to 
health, 10% to agriculture and 0.5% to water and sanitation. These are not 
ambitious targets; for example, the 15% target for health is realistic and some 
countries such as Malawi have reached this target.

During the 3rd Joint Annual Meeting of the African Union and Economic 
Commission for Africa Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic 
Development in Lilongwe, Malawi, 29-30 March 2010, Finance ministers met to 
address progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and in 
particular, realizing food security and employment. According to a pan African 
analyst present at the meeting, national delegations from South Africa, Rwanda 
and Egypt succeeded after heated debates in deleting any reference to budgetary 
targets for education, health, agriculture and water in the Common Position on 
MDGs and the conference report and resolutions. Their action calls into 
question the extent to which African finance ministers are committed to 
continental integration, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the 
declarations and resolutions of their own heads of state. It is evident that in 
countries where there has been an increase in domestic public funding for key 
social services, health outcomes have improved and therefore the development 
targets are a stimulus for action and should not be seen as a constraint on 
budgeting. The consequences of actions to delete budgetary targets in reports 
could result in a reversal in allocating the promised percentages of national 
budgets to health, education, food security and poverty alleviation, which 
could further damage the credibility of African leaders in the eyes of African 
citizens. Furthermore, it will weaken the power of African states to hold the 
international community to their promised target of 0.7% of gross national 
product to be allocated to development assistance and their commitment to 
double such assistance to Africa. Health and wellbeing should come before 
profit and we condemn any action that resists spending on development such as 
the actions taken by the finance ministers.

In July the Heads of State will be meeting during the AU Summit in Kampala, 
Uganda to discuss progress and state further commitments to these declarations 
with a focus on ‘Maternal, Infant and Child Health and Development in Africa’.

This petition is based on the need to guarantee and ensure concrete budgetary 
targets will be adhered to and that governments need to prioritise the 
fundamental rights of the population above other obligations.

The petition also acknowledges and supports action taken by the African Public 
Health Alliance (APHA) and 15% Plus Campaign: ‘Africa Civil Society Letter To 
July 2010 African Union Summit on Upholding African Health and Social 
development Commitments.’. This letter requests that the Heads of State should 
support the AU Commission in working with governments and civil society to 
monitor and report on health gains, and ensure a 10th year review of the 2001 
Abuja commitments by April 

It also acknowledges and supports the open letter to G8 ‘Meeting Promises for 
Children of Africa, our future’, written by Civil Society Forum On The African 
Charter On The Rights And Welfare Of The Child (ACRWC) to urge them to meet 
their promises for external funding to African countries, noting that countries 
have failed to fulfill their promise for increased aid allocation to Africa. 
Similarly we are concerned and disappointed at the funding allocated to 
Maternal Health at the G8 meeting in June 2010.

We are calling on the Heads of State to adhere to their commitments to 
development declarations and to ensure concrete budgetary targets will be 
adhered to!

We are calling on the ministers of the relevant departments affected to engage 
with their finance ministers to ensure that they undertake to meet the related 

We are calling on civil society to put pressure on their governments and in 
particular the relevant ministers in different countries so that they undertake 
to meet these commitments! 

Please sign this petition following the link provided below to call on Heads of 
State, ministers of relevant departments and civil society to ensure the 
budgetary targets become real!! The petition will be shared with civil society 
organisations in Africa to be used as a tool to influence national governments.

PHM – People’s Health Movement – Global
CWGH – Community Working Group on Health – Zimbabwe
CEHURD – Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development – Uganda
EQUINET – Regional Network for Equity and Health in East and Southern Africa
HREP – Health N Rights Education Programme – Malawi
SEAPACOH – The Alliance of Parliamentary Committees on Health in East and 
Southern Africa

Newsletter <>

Anneleen De Keukelaere

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