• Human Security and Development in Africa.

      Gomes Porto, Joao; Poku, Nana K.; Renwick, N. (2007)
      There has been a recent rise in optimism about Africa's prospects: increased economic growth; renewed regional and national political commitments to good governance; and fewer conflicts. Yet, given current trends and with less than eight years until 2015, Africa is likely to fail to meet every single one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Home to almost one-third of the world's poor, Africa's challenges remain as daunting as ever. Despite highly publicized increased growth in some economies, the combined economies of Africa have, on average, actually shrunk and are far from meeting the required 7 per cent growth needed to tackle extreme poverty. A similar picture emerges from the analysis of Africa's performance on the other MDGs. In a world where security and development are inextricably connected in complex and multifaceted ways, Africans are, as a result, among the most insecure. By reviewing a select number of political, security and socio-economic indicators for the continent, this analysis evaluates the reasons underlying Africa's continuing predicament. It identifies four critical issues: ensuring peace and security; fostering good governance; fighting HIV/ AIDS; and managing the debt crisis. In assessing these developmental security challenges, the article recalls that the MDGs are more than time bound, quantified targets for poverty alleviation¿they also represent a commitment by all members of the international community, underwritten by principles of co-responsibility and partnership, to an enlarged notion of development based on the recognition that human development is key to sustaining social and economic progress. In recent years, and often following failures, especially in Africa, to protect civilian populations from the violence and predation of civil wars, a series of high-level commissions and expert groups have conducted strategic reviews of the UN system and its function in global politics. The debate has also developed at the theoretical level involving both a recon-ceptualization of security, from state centred norms to what is referred to as the globalization of security around the human security norm. There has also been a reconceptualization of peacekeeping, where the peacekeeping force has enough robustness to use force not only to protect populations under the emergent responsibility to protect norm, but also enough conflict resolution capacity to facilitate operations across the conflict¿development¿peacebuilding continuum. This article opens up a discussion of how these ideas might be relevant to security regime building and conflict resolution in African contexts, and suggests how initiatives in Africa might begin to make a contribution to the theory and practice of cosmopolitan peacekeeping.