World Poverty Day 2010

Reporting from the West African country of Senegal on the International Day for the Eradication of Extreme Poverty edition 2010, I am pondering the meaning of this International Day– and the true essence of its purpose.

Worlwide bloggers are contributing their two cents and their optimism, as the UN dedicates a whole page to the event [http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/social/intldays/IntlDay/index.html], as it has every year since the inception of this commemorative day on October 17 1987, but as we acclaim and celebrate and infuse renewed hopes to “Make Poverty history” on the world stage, in countries such as Senegal where this change is supposed to take place no-one knows of World Poverty Day, and making Poverty History is certainly not on the agenda. At least, not as of yet.

Indeed the headlines of this day, a regular day in the life of the land are: “Abdoulaye Wade son’s, Karim Wade, secures inflow of significant funding for road investments”, “Minister X defends the achievements of Karim Wade”, “Abdoulaye Wade has achieved since his accession to power more than the previous regime ever did, purports the National Assembly head”, “In the holy city of Touba, the citizenry movement Yamale collects a few more hundred signatures from the Kalifr” “Fashion: A new trend has women hoisting their breasts to increase their sex appeal”…

“The gap between the smallness of our politics and the magnitude of our challenges is what troubles me” wrote Barack Obama in his Audacity of Hope.

When is Ending poverty ever going to be a priority in the countries concerned where poverty is seen as second nature, the norm? When is it ever going to get on national agendas as a priority issue, one vociferously pushed forward by citizens and diligently put to practice by their governors? Most of all: One felt urgently as the central moral challenge of our age as Koffi Annan simply described it?

WHEN?

These are the questions that are rattling through my brain on this World Poverty Day 2010 spent in Dakar, Senegal, one of the world hotspots for this poverty that the world seeks to eradicate.

Happy celebration nonetheless to all, A Happy World Poverty Day! May rescourse come, and come fast, so that Making Poverty History can become a real priority on the ground, put on the agenda by the governors and citizens .

~ by afrooptimism on October 17, 2010.

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