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 was the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green from 2005 to 2015, and served as a minister in both the Home Office and Department for International Development. She blogs at www.lynnefeatherstone.org.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
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.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

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

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJane 30th Apr - 7:34am
    You don't understand the argument. I appreciate that UK travellers would still have to pay high roaming charges even if we had taken the UNTAG...
  • User AvatarGlenn 30th Apr - 5:59am
    Tsar Nicholas, I sort of agree. To me what's happening is that, for want of a better word, progressive politics has cut itself of from...
  • User AvatarTony Greaves 29th Apr - 11:17pm
    Good stuff. This is something the party needs to do a lot of thinking about. I suspect that the more thought there is, and the...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 29th Apr - 11:07pm
    @Jane: "We could have done this ourselves outside the EU." No we couldn't. Or only for calls made in the UK. We could not regulate...
  • User AvatarNonconformistradical 29th Apr - 9:37pm
    @John Marriott I wonder if you have ever served on a jury. If you have then you should understand the necessity of making the grave...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 29th Apr - 9:37pm
    Andy Allen Tax rates are an important part of fiscal and monetary policy , now devolved , as for constitutional matters the only one the...