Six out of the world's ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, but their potential will not be realised without long-term improvements to education, health and the opportunity for women to give birth in environments free from violence. The further prize is increased productivity and economic growth.
We haven't, until now, designated a particular time of the year to celebrate all that small businesses give to our communities... We'll be using Saturday 7 December - one of the busiest shopping days in the calendar to encourage people to spend their Christmas shopping money locally, not only boosting the local economy but saving on transport costs too.
Three-year old Siphol runs the risk of being blinded for life. He has glaucoma, and has already lost the sight in one eye. There is surgery available which could save the sight in his other eye and prevent him becoming completely blind, but his mother refuses to take him to the hospital.
We are all living through history; that much is certain. There are, however, specific times or incidents when it is possible to imagine the school lessons in decades to come, when pupils will be studying with rabid intensity the very events unfolding around us right now. The saga of Prism, or the saga of Edward Snowden as Hollywood will surely repackage it, has to be one such event. With a script to rival a new Bourne movie, the 'spy story of the age' as the Guardian prefix it, has all the hallmarks of a milestone in global history.
Addressing stunting can break the cycle of poverty and have significant social and economic impacts on the development of nations. However, at the moment the scale of stunting means that more than one quarter of the world's children cannot reach their full potential.
Lady Thatcher famously observed that women had to "show [men] that we're better than they are". This was not the feminism which promotes diversity in a world of women's frequently unrealised talent, where women at work juggle the competing, sometimes almost irresolvable, demands of work, parenthood and caring. She was, for sure, a great woman in a man's world, but she did it by beating them at their own game. She was no feminist icon, nor any role model for the many young women who, we must hope, will believe strongly enough in the decent power of politics to bring about change...
So what does the Olympics mean to me and my friends? In a word absolutely nothing, except extreme inconvenience, loss of income and a complete lack of interest in anything to do with promoting the insufferable Sebastian Coe's career on the world stage.
As we get closer to the Olympics in 2012, the promised legacy will come under increasing scrutiny.
Young people need to be given a stake in society, whether that is through getting on the housing ladder through a shared-equity home