VOSESA supports MDGs and NEPAD
By Salah Mohamed
In seeking to strengthen knowledge about civic service and
volunteering in southern Africa, VOSESA sees its work as
contributing significantly to the realisation of the United Nations
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the primary objectives
of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
Support for MDGs
One of the main questions that VOSESA seeks to explore
through its research is: What role can service and volunteering
play in the HIV and AIDS pandemic? This is in line with MDG 6
which is concerned with combating HIV and AIDS as one of the
top priorities for promoting human development.
There is no region in the world where the pandemic is worse
than it is in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2003, there were 36 million
adults and two million children living with the disease, 66 per
cent of whom were located in Sub-Saharan Africa (see table
|Prevalence rates of HIV among adults in some southern African countries
||HIV prevalence rate among adults (15 - 49)
|Source: 2004 Report on the global AIDS epidemic
VOSESA is also tracking developments with regard to youth
service in southern Africa. Target No. 16 of the MDGs call for
the development and implementation of strategies for decent
and productive work for the youth. Many countries around the
world and in the SADC region in particular adopt youth service
programmes as part of their youth development strategies.
Youth service policies and programmes aim to benefit communities
whilst developing young people’s skills and experience.
There is also growing interest in the potential of youth volunteering
for development as a strategy for achieving the MDGs.
During 2005 and 2006 VOSESA will conduct a five-country
study on service and volunteering that will document youth
service, volunteering policy and practice in Botswana, Malawi,
South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In this way it intends to
contribute to improved knowledge about this important development
NEPAD is an Africa-wide initiative designed to address current
development challenges that face the continent and to ensure
that all efforts are directed towards the realisation of the MDGs.
Issues such as escalating poverty, the growing prevalence of
HIV, and continuing underdevelopment are on top of the
agenda. NEPAD also promotes principles of good governance
and the utilisation of the resourcefulness of the African people.
VOSESA’s work explores and documents the extent to which
civic service and volunteerism foster democracy and development
in southern Africa. It publicises information about service
and volunteering on its website (www.vosesa.org.za), promotes
research into the relationship between service, volunteering and
human development, and plans to commission a new edition of
Service Enquiry with an in-depth, research-based focus on service
and volunteering in the African context (see www.service-enquiry.org.za).