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 AvatarPsi 24th Aug - 9:20am
    “unwritten constitution” You mean uncodified not unwritten (it is written down, just all over the place without consistency), but generally an excellent topic for discussion.
  • User AvatarBill le Breton 24th Aug - 9:10am
    Hugh, I'll try to answer. When the Gov finances a tax cut of £20 b it immediately increases the money supply by £20b. How does...
  • User AvatarPsi 24th Aug - 8:50am
    The leader of the official opposition is running on “honesty and integrity” is caught in a lie as part of a publicity stunt. David Raw:...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 24th Aug - 8:47am
    Catherine Jane Crosland: Many of the reservations were for passengers who were not on the train. As seat reservations are free in this country, this...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 24th Aug - 8:44am
    Stevan Rose: "Multiple operators competing like budget airlines" No, no, a thousand times NO!!! A rail service functions best as an integrated whole. The budget...
  • User AvatarMike Biden 24th Aug - 8:33am
    Steven, "absence of economic collapse"? The economic effects are two-fold. First a sharp shock to the system through currency devaluation. The pound is down 20%...