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.

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 ...?




Recent Comments

  • User AvatarT-J 28th Jul - 9:23pm
    Richard Dean, whatever the modern attitudes of those societies, it is a point of historical fact that for the Commonwealth countries in question here, prior...
  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 28th Jul - 9:20pm
    Yes! I'm in the M-place!
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 28th Jul - 8:57pm
    Sounds very good, very well thought out, but wouldn't it have more weight and impact if it came from the PM rather than the DPM,...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 28th Jul - 8:45pm
    I see that colonialism is alive and well, and is being continued and propagated in the idea that the attitudes of peoples in the commonwealth...
  • User AvatarTony Rowan-Wicks 28th Jul - 8:17pm
    First, a big thank you to Nick Clegg for his continued support of LGBTs and his statement on what the Commonwealth should consider its culture...
  • User AvatarStuart 28th Jul - 8:02pm
    @Keith Legg "Stuart, a paper sent to committee members covering a number of topics and published without fanfare on the internet does not in my...