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Africa Renewal

The Africa Renewal magazine examines the many issues that confront the people of Africa, its leaders and its international partners: sustainable development goals, economic reform, debt, education, health, women's empowerment, conflict and civil strife, democratization, investment, trade, regional integration and many other topics. It tracks policy debates. It provides expert analysis and on-the-spot reporting to show how those policies affect people on the ground. And, it highlights the views of policy-makers, non-governmental leaders and others actively involved in efforts to transform Africa and improve its prospects in the world today. The magazine also reports on and examines the many different aspects of the United Nations’ involvement in Africa, especially within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

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After Africa’s wars, a ‘new day’ for building peace Interview: Judy Cheng-Hopkins visiting a youth centre in Gihanga, Burundi, a peacebuilding project supported by the UN

Concerned about the fragile state of countries that have recently emerged from war — and their vulnerability to new bouts of violence — the UN in 2005 established the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), an intergovernmental body led by member states. The PBC currently has six countries on its active agenda, all of them in Africa (Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and the Central African Republic). Also in 2005, the UN set up the Peacebuilding Support Office, as a secretariat for the PBC. Since 2009 that office has been headed by Assistant Secretary-General Judy Cheng-Hopkins. From Malaysia, she has had wide experience in various UN food relief, refugee and development agencies, including working in East and Southern Africa for a decade for the UN Development Programme. In October, shortly after a visit to assess UN peacebuilding projects in Burundi, Ms. Cheng-Hopkins spoke with Africa Renewal’s managing editor, Ernest Harsch, about the challenges facing post-war Africa.

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