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Annan: Africa cannot be complacent

08 October 2013, 06:46

Cape Town - Serious problems remain and new threats are emerging in Africa, despite progress on the economic front, former UN secretary general Kofi Annan said on Monday.

Addressing the 3rd annual Desmond Tutu International Peace lecture at the University of the Western Cape, Annan said sub-Saharan Africa was the world's "most recent economic success story" and had achieved successes in health care, education and gender parity.

"But real and exciting as this progress has been, we cannot afford to become complacent," Annan said.

"After all, Africa has endured false dawns in the past."

Annan warned that the growth experienced in Africa had not yet resulted in the eradication of high rates of poverty and unemployment.

"Despite Africa's extraordinary wealth of natural resources, poor governance and lack of transparency have too often led to corruption, exploitation and environmental damage," Annan said.

The rise of organised crime also risked eroding the progress made across the continent.

"As the recent terrorist attacks in Nigeria and Kenya have underlined, extremism and the proliferation of armed groups pose a serious threat to peace and security," said Annan.


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