Develop(ing) VIII: Global Partnership

The eighth MDG is possibly the easiest concept but the hardest to achieve. Taking developing nations and connecting them to trade and global financial systems, reducing their debt, increasing access to telephonic services and giving access to the latest technological developments requires such over-arching and government-focused policy that it is hard to reach the smallest communities.  It is the biggest dream and the most necessary.

When one creates global partnerships on a level playing field, one creates opportunities. When education is of a standard that graduates can work anywhere in the world (and graduates from anywhere in the world can work in what is currently called a developing nation), there is a huge opportunity for knowledge and skill sharing. For progression of all nations. When you connect a population to the internet, the ability for individual political expression, self-education and networking is phenomenal. When you have a reliable financial system that functions globally, there is the opportunity for functional world-wide corporations. When you connect people, you change the world.

I saw the beginnings of global partnerships while I was in Ghana. Numerous billboards and signs for Women in Enterprise, Health Education Strategies, schooling.  While much of this seemed to be money and support coming in from international organisations, there also seemed to be a growing grassroots movement of people making a difference in their own community all by themselves. There seemed to be a real urge to make Ghana better. The people don't trust their government but they see the value of the Internet and using mobile phones (though they could do so much more than access Facebook), they see the value of making change themselves. Best of all, I felt that people were empowered to change their nation. These people were proud Ghanaians and they knew the world was at their doorstep.

It can be easy to take a 'developed nation view' when looking at the issues in developing nations. It can be easy to think problems can be fixed by aid, by giving what we know and hoping it will work. Global partnership, however, implies that developing nations can take the best of their own world and combine it with what we've learnt about how not to run a country here. And hopefully they can grow and prosper as a result.

There is nothing I would like more than global equality. I cannot wait to see Ghana go from developed to developing, while maintaining its own character. I cannot wait to see numerous other countries join the ranks. And I'm excited to see a globe where we're all on an equal playing field on all of the MDGs.

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