I would like to congratulate you on your election, especially amongst such an experienced and talented field. I wish you well in continuing to raise the influence and impact of the Bank as Africa's pre-eminent financial institution, and in playing its part in the continent's sustainable and inclusive growth.
If you walk down a residential street in central London, the chances are that some, perhaps the majority, of property is owned by overseas buyers. You might wonder who they are. To find out, your first port of call would be the Land Registry, which lists who owns property in England and Wales. What this might tell you is that many properties are indeed owned by overseas buyers - but not the ones you would expect.
Enough is enough though. This Red Nose Day, we want to help change and save thousands of lives by improving healthcare for communities across Africa. By combining your cash with local talent and determination we can make a huge difference and to demonstrate that we're going to follow the refurbishment of Iyolwa clinic by working with Ugandans like Gonza, a local architect who has come forward to lend his skills. Your support will not only help to refurbish this clinic, but will also help to improve healthcare for thousands of people in communities across Africa...
Ebola presents an unprecedented threat to Sierra Leone and other countries in West Africa, not just in terms of public health but also because of the outbreak's long-term social and economic impacts. The UK has taken the global lead in supporting the response and has committed significant resources. This recognises Britain's long standing links with Sierra Leone and ActionAid welcomes and fully supports this.
Farmers have little to cheer about; politicians even less. But, when an American can evoke an explosion of applause from Iran's most elite agricultural researchers at the suggestion that all of mankind is capable of standing together to address common challenges, the possibilities for a more peaceful world becomes limitless.
GCSE results alone provide a narrow and confusing measure of success with no real consideration of the overall benefits to children of their time at school... under new Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, there is a real opportunity to take an approach which not only provides a strong academic grounding but also instils character values in students.
We all remember with horror the great-aunts who would exclaim: 'My how you have grown'. In my case, it was especially excruciating as it usually meant I'd grown out rather than up, unlike my tall siblings. Fast forward several years and suddenly we've all become that aunt. Before we know it, we find ourselves parroting the same words when children we haven't seen for a while, have suddenly shot up.
I know what it's like to lose your childhood to war. When I was five and conflict raged in Sudan, my family and I were amongst the lucky ones to leave for Egypt. Four years later we were granted asylum in the United Kingdom. Inspired by legendary South Sudanese basketball player Manute Bol, my siblings and I took up basketball which helped us fit in. Like Manute, I was lucky enough to turn the sport I loved into a career as a professional NBA player in the United States.
Improving quality in Pakistan would also be a huge breakthrough. In rural areas many primary schools lack sufficient classrooms to provide a proper five year cycle: In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for example, more than half of the schools do not contain the requisite 5 classrooms (one per grade). If you were a parent, would you send your children to school, and keep them there, if school conditions meant that your children were unlikely to learn the basics?
The call for DFID to make concrete commitments to include people with disabilities has been growing over the last decade. 2014 marks the year where these calls have been heard. We look forward to working with DFID to ensure people with disabilities are at the heart of the decisions to come, the impact of which could change the lives of millions.
As we consider the sorry state of international aid to education we must also remember that accessing school is also only part of the challenge; universal primary education goes beyond simply children enrolling in school - it also involves enabling them to complete their education and, as a result, acquire basic skills and knowledge...