Lynne Featherstone MP writes… First ever Lib Dem DFID Minister, first trip to Africa

A month after taking up my new role as Minister for Africa in the Department for International Development, I’m currently on my first trip to the continent – South Sudan, via an overnight stop in Kenya.

Though I’ve actually been to Africa in my role as International Champion for Tackling Violence against Women Overseas, a role I’ve held since soon after the Coalition was formed, I’m anxious to see first-hand the work that DFID does toward alleviating suffering, bettering people’s lives and working with partner governments to improve their ability to function more effectively.

South Sudan – where I’ll be spending the next few days – is the world’s newest country, gaining independence from Sudan in July 2011. It was a long road to independence, and unfortunately it’s another long road ahead to stability.

Years of civil war have left South Sudanese society deeply fragmented. Their government is currently facing multiple humanitarian crises – hundreds of thousands of internally displaced, hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing fighting in the north, and yet more thousands affected by seasonal floods. And, shockingly, a 15 year old girl is more likely to die in childbirth than complete secondary education.

It puts our economic and inequality troubles into perspective.

I’m sure I will learn an incredible amount over the next few days, and I’m keen to share these lessons with you. I’ll be tweeting and blogging as often as I can, so do follow the progress of my trip!

* Lynne Featherstone is a minister at the Department for International Development and blogs at www.lynnefeatherstone.org.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/30992 for Twitter and emails.
Advert

2 Comments

  • Jeanette Aron 22nd Oct '12 - 8:23am

    I wish you well with your trip Lynne. I’m off to the Gambia next week working with the charities I help to support. The road does not end even with stability.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohnTilley 31st Oct - 9:46am
    So if we break down Clegg's words -- 1. Blame it on the Italians 2. Blame it on the EU 3. Blame it on the...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 31st Oct - 9:46am
    Another reminder of how comfortable Nick is toeing the career politicians' line. Sadly, once in government he went native so fast we didn't realise it...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 31st Oct - 9:45am
    John, I think you are being unfair. The questions Clegg gets in Parliament from opposition MPs are usually loaded with total venom and bile. If...
  • User AvatarCaracatus 31st Oct - 9:44am
    @ Simon Banks - so your agreeing with me. No effort to win the by-election, concentrating on an irrelevant local council seat, little outside help,...
  • User AvatarTsar Nicolas 31st Oct - 9:41am
    Caron, You work hard at a thankless task, but given the hullabaloo over the Botswana thread, I am really surprised that you have posted this...
  • User AvatarSIMON BANKS 31st Oct - 9:16am
    Caractacus: I assume you went to Clacton and saw that the effort was zilch? I would agree that the level of outside help was disappointing,...