Africa-related Events in the Washington, D.C.
Politics . Business . Trade . Finance . Civil Society
Arts . Culture . Entertainment
Leadership & Progress Brief
Leadership & Governance Capacity Building in
African Countries: Why and How Well-Off and Accomplished Africans,
Drain" Africans, Should Proactively Take Charge of Fostering
Economist. 24 July 2003. ALPN director, Dr. Michael Isimbabi's
letter in response to The
cover story, "Now for Africa" (03 July
Africa & the G8 - 2005 G8 Summit,
Scotland, 6-8 July 2005
Links to Articles, Reports, Papers,
Excerpts from Opinions/Commentaries
G8 & Africa - G8 2004 Summit, Sea Island, USA - Reports
Also on this
African Progress: Afro-Pessimism
The Blair Commission
for Africa: Commentaries &
& the Millennium Challenge Account
African Leadership, NEPAD, the African Union,
The Resource Curse -
Governance - Transparency - Corruption - Natural Resource Management
Official 2005 G8 Summit website (UK
is the G8 focusing on Africa in 2005?
White House 2005 G8 Summit
History Website Live 8 - Official
Financial Times Jeffrey
Sachs' FT Blog on the G8 Summit: The
End of Poverty
G8 Information Centre -
University of Toronto
G8 Summit 2005 - Official Statements /
Documents -- 08 July 2005
Africa: A historic
opportunity - G8 Communique on Africa
Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Obasanjo Make a Statement
Before Signing the Africa Communique.
Prime Minister Tony Blair Reflects on 'Significant Progress' of G8
Gleaneagles 2005: Chairman's
Signed Version of Gleneagles
Communique on Africa, Climate Change, Energy and Sustainable
G8 Summit 2005 - Commentaries, Opinions, Reports,
Largely in reverse
Africa's time has come - and may have gone. Larry Elliott. The Guardian (UK).
September 19, 2005.
UN 2005 World
Summit - September 2005
The Millennium Development Goals
in Africa – Progress and Challenges.
UN Economic Commission for Africa.
windfalls bigger than G8 aid. The Guardian (UK).
September 15, 2005. Windfalls from
the rising global price of oil and other commodities will be worth
more to poor countries in Africa than the doubling of aid promised
by the G8 industrial nations, one of Britain's leading development
thinktanks said yesterday.
nations lose in watered-down UN document · Final draft a bland
version of Gleneagles promises · No new money for aid and debt
relief. Ewen MacAskill and Larry Elliott. The Guardian (UK).
September 14, 2005.
targets will be missed, UN admits. The Guardian (UK).
September 14, 2005. The UN admitted yesterday for the first
time that its summit of world leaders that begins in New York today
is unlikely to meet the ambitious targets for the organisation's
reform and tackle world poverty.
fight against poverty needs actions not words. (Letters). The Guardian (UK).
September 12, 2005
still he stays silent. George Monbiot. The
Guardian (UK). September 6, 2005. By
hailing the failure of this summer's G8 summit as a success, Bob
Geldof has betrayed the poor of Africa.
(Response): G8's historic Africa deal. Paul Vallely, Co-author,
Commission for Africa report. The
Guardian (UK). September 8, 2005.
How the G8 lied to the world on
Guardian (UK). August 23, 2005. The truth about Gleneagles puts
a cloud over the New York summit.
follows up on G8 pledges to help Africa. The Guardian (UK). August
10, 2005. Tony Blair is pushing for greater cooperation between the
G8 group of industrialised countries on spending the $25bn of
additional aid for Africa agreed at last month's Gleneagles summit.
U.S. Aid Pledges to Africa: Let's Do the
Numbers. U.S. Pledges of Aid to Africa: Let’s Do the Numbers. Steve
Radelet and Bilal Siddiqi. Center for Global
Development Brief. July 19, 2005
Africa on Farm Subsidies. African nations must await a global trade
deal before Washington will cut farm export subsidies, the US has
said. BBC News, 19 July, 2005.
isn't poor because of corruption.
The Guardian (UK).
July 18, 2005.
In the month
leading up to the G8, Nigeria revealed that its leaders had stolen
$390bn (£222bn) over the last 40 years. It was a shocking admission
and provided fuel for those critics who say the African problem is
irredeemable largely due to corruption.
Gleneagles, and The Fight Against African Poverty. Raymond
Garcia. Swans Commentary. swans.com. July 18, 2005
Poverty in Africa isn't history -- or destiny.
Emira Woods. Dallas-Fort Worth Star Telegram. July 17,
G8 and Aid: Between hype and hope. How generous were the aid
promises made at Gleneagles? And how new? The Economist.
July 14, 2005.
G8's African challenge. The Economist. July 7 2005
$25 billion question: The difficulty of helping
Economist. July 2 2005
Helping Africa help itself. Why it's worth giving Africa more
aid. Lots more money for Africa
will not make poverty history. But it might just do some good.
The Economist. July 2
News 214: Focus on G8: Make looting
history. 6 July
needs people power. Jerry Rawlings. The
Guardian (UK). July 14, 2005.
G8 backs oil and mining transparency initiative
but actions speak louder than words. Publish What You Pay Coalition.
Transparency International -
Statements on the G-8, Aid,
and Corruption. The G-8 must act decisively: Africa's future hangs
in the balance.
Aid and Discomfort. Liberals shouldn't be so quick to write
off assistance to Africa. Bradford
Plumer. Mother Jones. July 12,
Bush Exaggerates Africa Funding. BlackPressUSA.
July 14-20, 2005. Jim Lobe
IMF threat on G8 proposal of debt
cancellation. Committee for the Cancellation of Third World Debt
A Message to World Leaders: What about the Damage We Do to
Africa? (& Reactions to the Report).
Royal African Society. June
end of the beginning. Joseph Stiglitz.
Guardian. July 12,
2005. Debt relief alone won't relieve third-world
Must Africans say thanks? Michael Dingake. Mmegi (Botswana). July 12,
Critics wonder: Are G-8 pledges same old
story? Even supporters agree commitment
needs African leaders to rise to the huge challenge. Warren Vieth.
Los Angeles Times. July 12,
Of Africa. National Review Online. July 12, 2005. Stereotypes about Africa are
so engrained in our psyche that we think Live 8 concerts and G8
plans to increase aid will solve problems, when really the continent
and its leaders need some tough love.
It's not the Marshall Plan, but it's a start.
Larry Elliott. The Guardian. July 11, 2005.
Summit: Pop Campaign On Africa Fizzles Out. Inter Press Service
(South Africa). July 11, 2005. Outside of British officialdom,
celebrations over increased G8 aid for Africa were confined mostly
to a population of two -- rock stars Bob Geldof and Bono.
Outcome Disappoints African Civil Society. The Post
(Zambia). July 11, 2005
African Govts would pursue the path of good
governance - JAK. Ghanaweb.com. 11 July
After G8, Blair puts ball in Africa's
Reuters. 11 July 2005. Measures agreed by leaders of the Group of
Eight nations to help lift Africa out of poverty will count for
nothing unless African governments put their own houses in order,
Britain's Tony Blair said on Monday.
Enough handouts for
International Herald Tribune. 11 Jul 2005. Africa needs a
hand-up, not a never-ending series of handouts that do little more
than play to Africa's weaknesses.
G8 & Africa. Is exploitation something that just
happens? New African. July 2005.
Will G8 money match the rhetoric? BBC News. July
Will leaders hold true to their pledges? AFP. July 11, 2005.
Africa reacts to the G8
communiqués. Scientists, politicians,
academics and others from across Africa comment on the outcomes of
the G8 summit. SciDev.net. July
G8 must do more for trade, says
Independent Online. 11 July 2005
Blair hails 'immense progress' on
ePolitix.com. 11 July 2005
let the bombs bury Africa's hope.
Peter Preston. The Guardian. July 11, 2005.
of Gleneagles. Leader. The Guardian. July 11, 2005.
If the latest Gleneagles summit is to be
counted as a success for Africa, it will take much more effort
before poverty truly is made history.
the leaks - or waste the aid. Sony Kapoor and John Christiansen. The Guardian. July 11, 2005.
The recent G8 announcements fall far
short of what was needed but they also ignored the equally important
issue of capital flight.
G8 Aid, debt relief not seen as panacea for
Mariam Isa. Reuters. 10 July 2005
Is Gleneagles a watershed? The Star (South
July 10 2005. Maybe, with ghastly perversity, the
perpetrators of the London bombings have had a positive impact on
attempts to deal with poverty in Africa and the rest of the world.
Fair trade tests G8 goodwill on Africa. Reuters South Africa. July 10, 2005
delighted at G8 action on aid. The Guardian (UK). July
10, 2005. Further increases in aid to Africa will be unveiled by G8
countries this summer amid signs that the political momentum
generated by last week's summit will continue to tackle global
Defends G8 Agreement. Vanguard (Nigeria). July 10, 2005
defends G8 agreement. BBC News. 9 July 2005.
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who heads the African
Union, said the summit was a success and African issues were being
tackled "realistically". Africa must respond by promoting good
governance, democracy, human rights and tackle corruption, he told
G8 Deal Falls Short of Expectations, Say
Many Environmental and Aid Groups. OneWorld.net. 09 July 2005
After G-8 Aid Pledges, Doubts on 'Doing
It'. Washington Post. 09 July 2005
G-8 leaders make promises personal.
Northwest Herald. 09 July 2005
Aid fails in corrupt African nations.
South Coast Today. 09 July 2005
Blair defends G8 achievements but critics claim it is not
enough. Sunday Herald. 09 July 2005
summit: Your views (Comments from readers) -- BBC News
'In a Shadow
of Terror', G8 Approves Package for Africa. This Day (Nigeria). July 9, 2005
Summit Of The G8: Disappointed But Resolute. Joint Statement from
African Civil Society Organizations at the Conclusion of the 2005
Summit, Gleneagles, Scotland 6-8th July. ActionAid. July 8,
provide hope for Africa. Analysis by Monica Naggaga, Oxfam
Uganda Policy Coordinator. BBC News. 08 July
Statement by the UN Secretary-General on the G8
Communique on Africa. United Nations. 08 July 2005
World Bank President Hails
Press. 08 July 2005
wins mixed applause on his G8 aid efforts. Financial Times. July 8
History's Response to G8 Communique
Geldof welcome G8 aid deal for Africa. Reuters. July 9 2005
Geldof, Bono praise G-8 for Africa aid - Live 8
concerts. Associated Press.
July 8, 2005
Gleneagles Performance: Money Mobilized. Compiled by G8
Research Group, University of Toronto. July 8, 2005. Total new money mobilized at the Gleneagles Summit:
G8 Agrees on $50bn Aid Boost. BBC News. 08 July
leaders agree aid boost to $50bn for Africa. Financial Times. July 8 2005.
Africa Needs an Al-Jazeera. YaleGlobal
Online. If G-8 leaders want to promote good governance in Africa,
they should pave the way for a news network that will give corrupt
politicians headaches all over the continent. Philip Fiske de
Gouveia. Foreign Policy. 6 July 2005
G8: How the rich world short-changes
Africa. Norm Dixon. Green Left Weekly, July
will, not just aid, can lift Africa out of despair. Jagdish
Bhagwati and Ibrahim Gambari. Financial
Times. July 4 2005
Speech by Hilary Benn, UK Secretary of State for
International Development at the G8 Business Action for Africa
Conference, 6 July 2005
root of the problem (Letters). The
Guardian. July 4, 2005
Bob Geldof has got
the key western countries to focus attention on Africa at the G8
summit (Report July 2). But this kind of focus conceals the root
causes of many of the continent's problems and perpetuates a view
that it is unable to solve them. The problems are easy to state:
complicity between the west and corrupt leaders; reinforcement of a
dependency culture through aid plus neoliberal economic reform,
maintaining the pauperisation of Africans; suppression of
people-centred economic opinions opposed to the World Bank/IMF
orthodoxy; and subversion of social and economic development in
order to repay debt.
While good governance
is self-evidently desirable, the west is complicit in the corruption
it disavows. In instances where Africans have democratically elected
promising leaders, western governments have undermined or conspired
in their political elimination and replaced them with puppet
regimes. Africa does not need conditional aid, charity or pity.
Western governments should be held to account for the exploitation
of the continent and make reparations for the pillage that they have
inflicted. ....Patricia Daley, Firoze Manji, Paul Okojie,
Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, and four others
In all the utterances
by Bob Geldof I have yet to hear him go to the core of Africa's
problem - the absence of women in leadership and the absence largely
of women's legal rights. Instead, he seems to endorse more of the
same - African men's corrupt leadership, but given a bit more free
trade to get their hands on, and debt relief to divert more of their
nation's taxes into their own pockets. ...Tim
Save Africa Without African Effort. Abdul-Raheem Tajudeen. New Vision (Uganda).
June 30, 2005.
These days it is extremely difficult to avoid Africa if you
live in the United Kingdom or even if you are only passing through
for a few hours....How can you say that this focus on Africa is bad
when the complaint before is that there is not enough attention to
the challenges of the continent? Yet something inside you tells you
that this interest is just the fashion of the moment and after it
all, the public can actually return to their ignorant ways having
done their bit for Africa. Is the focus on us as victims the right
Takes Two, Wolfowitz Tells Business Leaders. Text of remarks by World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz at the
Corporate Council on Africa's US-Africa Business Summit dinner,
Baltimore, Maryland, USA. June 23, 2005.
...And so let's,
especially those of us from so-called the rich countries, developed
countries, let's hold a mirror up to ourselves and remember every
corrupt transaction has two parties. (Applause.) If I can coin a
term there is a corruptee and there is a corruptor. (Laughter,
applause.) And if the African people and their leaders are stepping
up to the challenge of dealing with the corruptees, we, if I can
speak as a citizen of a developed country - those of us in the
developed world, in fact anywhere in the world, have responsibility
to address corruptors as well. And to help African countries, as the
Nigerian as seeking to do now, to recover the some of the stolen
wealth that is sitting in bank accounts where it doesn't belong.
once more: The recent focus on Africa reinforces our perception of
it as picturesque, pitiful, psychopathic and passive. Madeleine
Bunting. The Guardian. July 4, 2005
What we are seeing
now in this unprecedented media focus on Africa is a very old theme.
In 1787 the slogan of the Quaker abolitionists was "Am I not a man
and a brother?" But the radicalism of this rallying cry was belied
by the image on the Anti-Slavery Society's seal of the African slave
- he was on his knees. His liberty and dignity was ours for the
giving, not his for the taking. The relationship at this G8, more
than 200 years later, is similarly framed: African as supplicant to
the (mostly) white men. An entire continent has been reduced to a
"scar on the conscience of the world", stripped of its dignity and
left more powerless than at any intervening point since 1787.
The images we saw of
Africans at Live 8 on Saturday were the dying, the starving and the
desperately impoverished. Postcolonialism in a globalising economy
is proving even more humiliating for Africa than colonialism: its
huge wealth in natural resources sequestered in secret bank
accounts; its commodities commanding ever-smaller prices; its
vicious wars with the exported arms of the industrial world; its
government policies dictated from Washington and Geneva. Even its
suffering exploited to jerk us into attention and to supply our
To the partying Hyde
Park crowd, Kofi Annan said "thank you". But for what? Blair's
Africa agenda is yet another expression of what Professor John
Lonsdale, the Cambridge historian of Africa, described in a lecture
last week as "the self-righteously civilising mission of the past
two centuries" of Europe towards its neighbour. He concluded that
"it is a construction that infantilises not only Africans, unable to
fend for themselves, but us too, like babies demanding the instant
gratification of self-importance".
one expects G-8's Africa initiative to work. Adrian Hamilton. July
concentration on Africa -- the Africa Commission, Live8, the effort
to wipe out debt for the most impoverished -- seeks to get the
public behind the theme of "one great heave and we can solve
Africa's problems." We owe the continent a once-in-a-lifetime effort
out of compassion and duty. And we could really do it this time. I
doubt that many people believe this any more. I doubt that there are
even that many people who really believe that the G-8 generosity,
however much it may amount to, will do that much good. Instead of a
surge of gathering hope, there seems instead to be a mood of sad
resignation that, with the best of intentions, we are largely
wasting our money.
Indeed, one of the
most extraordinary and perhaps most significant features of the
Africa debate has been the way it has brought together, for quite
different reasons, the ideological opposites of those who believe
aid is wasted on economic grounds and those Africans who reject what
they regard as the patronizing and ill-directed manner in which the
white West is offering it. Both say that financial help is not the
answer. Better governance within Africa is.
As if to prove their
point, this year has seen both the massacres and dispossession in
Darfur and the more recent slum clearances -- "drive out the
rubbish" as Robert Mugabe has so delicately named it -- in Zimbabwe.
Nothing could be so calculated to disabuse the world of any
enthusiasm for state aid to Africa than the sight of these
brutalities or the evident inability of the rest of Africa or the
West to do anything about them....
Why Africa is the Loser. L. Muthoni Wanyeki. The East
African (Kenya). June 20, 2005
...We could critique
the G8 for not moving to the extent that it should to uphold its
side of the bargain. Witness France's opposition to any moves to
reduce European agricultural subsidies and the US resistance to
proposals on new sources of "aid."
But if the G8 is not
living up to its promises, neither is Africa. With respect to
governance, the African Union may have acted decisively on Togo. But
the embarrassment that is Zimbabwe remains. And the AU has been
shockingly silent on the aftermath of Ethiopia's elections -
ignoring, despite its presence right in the thick of things, the
crackdown on civil and political rights affecting not only student
demonstrators, but also the independent and foreign media.
Nigeria and South
Africa, both of whom are key players in the Africa/G8 negotiations
as members of Nepad's highest decision-making body, may have made
some bold moves on corruption recently - through, for example, the
sacking of ministers and (gasp!) even deputy presidents. But then
there is Kenya. And Uganda. And a whole slew of other African states
that just do not seem able to get with the programme.
The moral of the
story? Neither side can claim the moral high ground. Making
prevarication on development financing easy for the G8. And Africans
everywhere the losers. It is more than a shame.
How eight people will decide fate of a
continent. The Guardian.
June 21, 2005. What are the plans, where have we got
to and what is the verdict?
Corruption was a main issue
highlighted by the Commission for Africa. Nearly a quarter of aid
goes on improving a government's ability to govern: how to raise
revenue and to account for its expenditure. The commission praised
efforts by the New Economic Partnership for African Development
(Nepad) to set up a peer group review in which experts working
against fixed criteria measure the steps governments take to fight
corruption, improve administration and boost accountability. It is a
sort of audit commission for African corruption. Some 24 African
countries have so far signed up.
Where have we got
The issue of good governance is
key to understanding any deal at G8. The US, in particular, ties aid
so tightly to good governance that it slows the aid flow. At last
year's G8 summit in the US, a deal was signed with Nigeria, a trade
off between possible debt relief and action against graft. There is
still no single kite mark of good governance so different criteria
are applied by various countries and lending institutions. The G8
may synchronise this. Another recommendation was for extra resources
to expand the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI);
in which the industrialised world publishes payments for contracts
in oil and gas. The hope is it will deter bribery. Another idea
which has emerged in the course of G8 negotiations is a
multimillion-dollar fund to improve technology and skills to stem
the brain drain of 70,000 skilled Africans who emigrate each year.
This subject produces a lot of
talk from donors who are anxious that increased aid should not be
siphoned off through corruption. On the other hand, western
countries are reluctant to close down tax havens and secret bank
accounts which allow money to be hidden. A plan for each G8 country
to report on the embezzled assets which have been repatriated to
Africa each year is unlikely to be passed. But the EITI is a good
start in the fight against large-scale corruption surrounding
Africa's natural resources. What is more difficult is rooting out
the endemic low-level graft often caused by low wages and poverty.
Effort: 7/10; Chances of
Shadow Over G8 Africa Talks. L'Express (Mauritius). June 28,
...The actions of Mugabe's government, repeatedly highlighted
by human rights groups, and the failure of African nations to
condemn them, does little to reassure Western leaders who want proof
of good governance in Africa before they fork out
must breed tigers in Africa. Matthew Lockwood. The Guardian.
June 24, 2005.
..."Governance" has, of course, been identified by the
Commission for Africa as the fundamental issue. However, the record
of World Bank-inspired governance reforms in Africa is one of abject
failure. Only in those rare cases with political buy-in at senior
levels have anti-corruption efforts or civil service reform
programmes even been attempted. This points to the importance of
Africa expert Alex de Waal's aphorism that governance is government
minus politics. The answer to why African states have not been as
effective as those of east Asia lies in political history.
colonial inheritance of indirect rule and the scramble for power at
independence meant that political leaders relied on dispensing
patronage to local chiefs to hold together national alliances. The
resulting system of patronage politics has produced leaders more
interested in maintaining a flow of resources for elite consumption
than in broader development, with oil and mining multinationals
happy to facilitate a "spoils politics" in the worst cases. It has
also eroded the ability of African states to manage economic
challenges. Such politics has survived multi-party reforms of the
1990s, and is entrenched even in "good performers" such as Ghana and
Tanzania. In the rare cases where African governments have led
successful development and poverty reduction, such as Botswana, or
Uganda in the 1990s, leaders have suppressed patronage politics.
the nature of politics is decisive for Africa, what should the
thousands on the streets of Edinburgh be telling G8 leaders? In
reality, donors can play only a minor role in a transformation where
African politicians will have the central part. The international
community should focus its efforts on supporting the emergence of
more developmental politics, while making life a lot harder for
spoils politics regimes. This means priority action (rather than
warm words) on money laundering in financial capitals by the likes
of the Abacha family, on ending the tacit tolerance of corporate
involvement in corruption, and on transparency about oil and mining
the most profound re-think is on aid. Here the counsel is one of
political realism, not despair. The Aids crisis means that there is
compelling case for a basic floor of aid to Africa. But further aid
should be allocated using simple but strict criteria. Where
anti-patronage politics leaders are achieving poverty reduction,
they should be supported generously and without conditions. Unlike a
Richard Curtis film, 2005 is not guaranteed a happy ending. The
simple plot device of doubling aid to Africa will not work. It is
time to introduce the messy, but real world of politics.
G8 countries defying arms embargoes,
says report. The Guardian.
June 22, 2005.
Arms supplied by G8
countries are being used by regimes that violate human rights,
impoverish their people and fight their neighbours....Many of the G8 countries are
large donors to aid programmes in Africa and Asia, notes the report.
"However, continuing arms transfers to developing countries
undermine their pledges to relieve debt, combat Aids, alleviate
poverty, tackle corruption and promote good governance." Arms sales
to unaccountable and poorly trained military forces are used to
suppress human rights, encouraging the brutal exploitation of
resources and environmental degradation, it says.
'still selling weapons to worst regimes'. Times Online (UK).
22 Jun 2005.
Khan, secretary general of Amnesty International, said that the
sales stood uneasily next to the more humanitarian intentions of G8
governments: "How can G8 commitments to end poverty and injustice be
taken seriously if some of the very same governments are undermining
peace and stability by deliberately approving arms transfers to
repressive regimes, regions of extreme conflict or countries who can
ill-afford them?" Ms Khan asked.
G8 Pledges to
Fight Corruption. Andrew Donaldson. Sunday
Times (South Africa). June 19, 2005.
A three-day meeting
of the Justice and Interior ministers of the Group of Eight wealthy
countries this week spent just 30 minutes discussing Africa and ways
to support good governance and tackle corruption on the
continent...The issue of the damage wrought by corruption in Africa
was on the meeting's agenda, and, at the closing press conference on
Friday, British Home Secretary Charles Clarke noted that the "desire
for joint action" in this regard was "very, very
Peter Goldsmith said ministers recognised that corruption was a
major obstacle to social and economic development in Africa. He said
that all G8 countries would work as swiftly as possible to ratify
the United Nations convention on corruption and that the G8 would
also assist victim states in the recovery of looted assets.
French Justice Minister
Pascal Clement was not at the press conference. He had left the
meeting earlier without answering questions about the lack of legal
action against the French arms firm involved in the corruption
scandal which led to the sacking of former Deputy President Jacob
Zuma. An earlier request by the Sunday Times for an interview with
French Justice ministry officials at the meeting was
sounds mighty nice, but it’s trade that feeds
Simon Jenkins. Times Online (UK). 05 Jun 2005.
Since Tony Blair unofficially signed up Bob Geldof as
“G9”, the summit’s objective seems to have changed. ..."[The prospect of mob action/violence] so terrified
the Canadians that in 2002 they decided to discuss world poverty
deep in the Rocky Mountains. It was there that Blair felt the “hand
of history” upon him. He had decided to “halve world poverty within
a decade” and would start with Africa. When Blair talks about
poverty today we should remember that this is his sixth successive
bite at the cherry. The exploitation of global misery to justify a
politico/celebrity extravaganza is global diplomacy at its most
...For the past six years the G8 has
been preaching relief yet maintaining vicious trade sanctions
against Africa and Asia. It has denied them markets for their
produce and flooded them with surpluses....At this very moment,
millions of tons of subsidised European and American sugar and
cotton are being dumped on Africa, destroying local industries and
impoverishing populations. This has nothing to do with corruption or
lethargy or “ungovernable Africa”. It is economic warfare by the G8
against the poor....
I see from the spin that Britain is downplaying trade in favour of
yet more aid and debt relief. The reason, I fear. is simple.
Pledging taxpayers’ money costs politicians nothing. Since the
pledge is seldom honoured, it also barely costs the taxpayer.
Trade is a different matter. It means confronting
lobbies, upsetting producers, withdrawing subsidies. It means doing,
not talking. Its benefits are seen not on western television but in
the markets of Lagos, Accra, Abidjan, Mombasa and Dar-es-Salaam.
That is why trade reform has no purchase on the White House,
Brussels or the Blair/Geldof agenda. Aid is sexy. It makes its
recipients dependent and its donors feel good. There is a
neo-imperialist streak in the Make Poverty History movement. Trade
is mercantile and often “unfair”. It is always scrutinised for a
Blair is serious about “tackling world poverty” he should devote his
present junketing to one objective, to a crash programme of
preferential, bilateral trade deals with poor countries. This is the
only action that offers a robust and lasting cure to world poverty.
If, as seems certain, Blair finds all ears deaf to this demand, he
has one recourse.
should cancel Gleneagles as pointless. He should send the £100m it
will cost straight to Oxfam and present a urgent trade preference
bill to parliament. If he and Geldof really need to bask in each
other’s glory, they can stage an annual rally in Trafalgar Square
naming and shaming the countries that refused at Gleneagles to take
poverty seriously. All else is flam. "
economies are pushing at an open trade
July 5 2005
Some of the continent's leaders believe, contrary
to popular opinion, that it has ‘market access coming out of its
ears'....Some economists say even the
much-criticised rich world agricultural subsidies have less impact
on Africa than is popularly supposed, at least in the short run.
African consumers benefit from the cheaper food that subsidies
bring, and its farmers do not, in any case, compete with many of the
subsidised temperate-climate crops such as wheat.
economists say it is far more often restrictions such as a business
climate inimical to private foreign investment and the lack of good
transport infrastructure, rather than formal tariff barriers, that
prevent African countries competing in rich world markets....In any
case, Africans themselves admit that the main onus for better trade
remains on domestic reform. Mr Rachid says: “If we don't get our
institutions and competitiveness right we won't need market access
at all we will just need charity.”
chief warns on dangers of Zimbabwe. David White. Financial
Times. July 6 2005.
Kofi Annan on
Wednesday urged African leaders to break their silence over actions
by governments, such as Zimbabwe's, that were undermining the
continent's credibility in the eyes of the world....However,
Olusegun Obasanjo, president of Nigeria and the African Union's
current chairman, said in London on Wednesday he would “not be part”
of any public condemnation of Mr Mugabe, although he would offer his
“good offices” in the country.
recognised that they needed to improve governance, increase
transparency and fight corruption to get more assistance from the
west, Mr Annan said. But he cautioned: “What is important and what
is lacking on the continent is [a willingness] to comment on wrong
policies in a neighbouring country.”.....Criticising the reluctance
of African governments to join the international outcry against the
evictions, which have displaced hundreds of thousands of people, Mr
Annan said: “I've often tried to tell them they cannot continue to
treat these situations as purely internal. It starts as internal but
it becomes a regional problem. Nobody invests in a bad neighbourhood
and if you have just one or two countries behaving that way, that
Fresh from an African
Union summit in Libya, Mr Annan said continental leaders would
present the G8 with “a solid message of what Africa needs”. He
rejected the idea that the proposed doubling of aid to Africa would
be wasted. “What we are talking about is effective, well-targeted
assistance that will have an impact.” The UN chief said African
leaders “realise they have to create an environment that will
release the energies of their people and encourage investment”.
History in Africa: Beyond Debt Relief. Madaki O. Ameh. This
Day (Nigeria). June 28, 2005.
Agenda for Africa. Badru D. Mulumba. The Monitor
(Uganda). June 27, 2005. Rich countries go into the final lap of
the G8 summit with little signs that substantial rises in aid are on
Africa Really Expect From G8 and EU After July 1?. Patrick Van
Rensburg. allAfrica.com/Mmegi/The Reporter (Botswana). June
Africa is Its
Own Worst Enemy. Oscar Kimanuka. East African.
June 20, 2005.
Let G-8 Open
Markets Now. East African.
June 20, 2005.
Debt Relief an
Empty, Backward Gesture. Kenneth Rogoff. Business Day (South Africa). June 21, 2005
Thanks for the
Fish, We'd Prefer a Hook And Line. Michael
Okema. East African. June 20, 2005.
8: Eight women, one voice. A Gideon
Mendel/ActionAid project. 8 African women in their own
Geldof and the white man's burden. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. The
Independent. 06 June 2005. His crusade lacks respect for
Africans. Bob will fix it for the weeping folk in the dark
mention Darfur and spoil the party. Yasmin
Alibhai-Brown. The Independent. 20 June 2005. We are doing nothing at all to stop
this tyranny, just as we didn't when Rwanda was bleeding to death.
Discusses G8 Summit, Progress in Africa. White House. June 30, 2005
US Africa Policy
Page (White House)
Bush Proposes New African Anti-Poverty Initiatives for
G8. US Department of State, Washington, DC. June 30,
U.S. Assistance to
Africa. US Department of State 2005 G8 Summit
Website - US Department of
Bush Pledges $1.2 Billion For Africa to Fight Malaria.
President Also Vows to Double Total Aid to Continent by 2010.
Peter Baker. The Washington Post. July 1,
Bush and Africa. Lead Editorial. The Washington
Post. July 1, 2005.
G-8 Plans Reveal Hollow Commitment to Africa. Africa Action. June 30, 2005
Challenges Bush's "Hollow Commitment to Africa". Accra
Mail (Ghana). July 4, 2005.
Must Put More on the Plate to Fight Global Poverty. Susan E.
Rice. The Washington Post, July 5, 2005.
Foreign Assistance to Africa: Claims vs. Reality. Susan E. Rice.
Brookings Institution. June 27, 2005
Exaggerates Increase in U.S. Aid. Jim Lobe. Inter Press Service
(Johannesburg). June 28, 2005.
DATA Reaction to
President Bush's Pre-G8 Africa Speech. DATA (Debt-AIDS-Trade-Africa). June 30,
Text of remarks by World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz at the
Corporate Council on Africa's US-Africa Business Summit dinner,
Baltimore, Maryland, USA. June 23, 2005.
Chief Sees Africa as Continent of Hope. allAfrica.com. June 24,
Pledge for More Aid in Africa. Joan Wangui. The New Times
(Rwanda). June 20, 2005. World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has
promised to urge the international community to give more 'grant'
than 'loans' to the world's poorest countries.
Africa's Poverty Top of World Bank's Agenda, Wolfowitz. Richard Mantu. BuaNews. June 19, 2005.
Alleviating Sub-Saharan Africa's poverty will be the first priority
of the World Bank, Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz declared after meeting
President Thabo Mbeki....
NGOs divided over $50bn G8 aid proposal. Alan Beattie & Hugh Williamson. Financial Times.
July 7 2005.
is well worth trying. Martin Wolf. Financial Times.
July 7 2005.Those who
doubt the efficacy of aid differ in their reasons. One side insists
it will be wasted; the other that it will be inadequate.
Multilateral leadership can right the ship. Martin Wolf. Financial Times. June 28 2005. Leadership means seeking a way to
reconcile the vital interests of all the important players. For this
the present G8 is irrelevant.
Bank chief urges G8 not to focus on
Africa. Financial Times. June 28
UK's Straw warns against high expectations
of major progress at G8 summit. AFX Europe (Focus).
June 29, 2005
Brown lays into CAP. Simon Jeffery. The Guardian. June
29, 2005. In an idealistic speech attacking European farm subsidies,
...Mr Brown attacked the "hypocrisy of developed country
protectionism" that kept western markets closed to the developing
poverty: What the G8 must do to make poverty history.
Debt deal a fraction of Africa's real needs. 13 June 2005. The £22bn relief deal has been widely
welcomed but much more is needed to fulfil British
Africa. The Economist
Global Agenda. June 14 2005. "...if
rich countries are really serious about poverty reduction, they
should also curb subsidies that keep out products from the poor
will not lift growth in Africa, warns IMF. Andrew Balls.
Financial Times. June 30 2005. Leaders and pop stars ‘need to
curb aid hopes’
Press Briefing to Review Issues Related to Aid, Trade and Debt
Relief to Poorest Countries. International
Monetary Fund. June 30, 2005. Video
Undermines Aid's Impact on Growth? IMF Working Paper
and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really
Show? IMF Working Paper
who? Live8 fails to resonate in Africa. Andrew England.
Financial Times. July 1, 2005
8 shows power, pitfalls of stars with a cause. Reuters UK. June
Africa's flash moment. Madeleine
Bunting. The Guardian. June 20, 2005. Geldof, Bono and
co have shown how to connect grassroots protest to the corporate and
Live8 organisers dig heels in over all-white gig. Shirin Aguiar
and Lester Holloway. Black Information Link (UK). June 8, 2005
cannot be healed overnight by hype and rock. David White.
Financial Times. June 10 2005. If nothing
else, Bob Geldof says, Live8 will have been ‘for everyone involved,
a glorious failure’. For Africans, the glory is questionable, writes
the FT's Africa editor.
and celebrities. Has a G8 summit ever been so hip? The Economist. June 2
Africa & the G8 - Policy Discourse in
Washington, DC (Event Transcripts)
Transcripts: Hearing: The G8 Summit and
Development. The Honorable Christopher H.
Mr. Paul Reid, Mr. Robert Pittman [Pittman appendix], Mr. Gerald Flood, Mr. Roger Bate, Ms. Imani Countess. US House Subcommittee
on Africa. June 30,
Countdown to the G-8 Summit: A Preview of
the Challenges and Opportunities. The Brookings Institution.
Rhetoric and Reality: AEI Briefing on the
G-8 Summit at Gleneagles. American Enterprise Institute.
June 30, 2005.Will the
Summit of Rich Nations Really Help the Poor? A
Discussion on the G-8 Summit and Debt Relief. Institute for Policy
Studies. June 29,
G8 and Africa Final Report: An Overview of the G8’s Ongoing
Relationship with African Development from the 2001 Genoa Summit to
the 2005 Gleneagles Summit. G8 Research Group, University of
Toronto. June 24, 2005
the Twelve Labors: The G8's Role in the Fight against Money
Laundering. Denisse V. Rudich, G8 Governance. No. 12 (May
Putting Our House in Order:
Recasting G8 policy towards Africa. 2005. David Mepham and James Lorge. Institute for
Public Policy Research (UK).
Africa policies should be subject to a ‘development audit’. 21
Accountability in Africa: whose problem? David Mepham,
Public Policy Research (UK).
Africa and Governance - policy priorities for the
What ever happened to the African Renaissance?
David Mepham. Parliamentary Monitor, Sep 2003
The G8 & Africa -- G8 2004 Summit, Sea Island, USA --
Reports & Commentaries
Activists Express Deep Disappointment Over G-8
Results. June 11, 2004. Jim Lobe. OneWorld US. Activist
groups concerned about Africa expressed deep
disappointment last Thursday with what they called a failure of
the leaders of the Group of Eight (G-8) richest nations to respond
seriously to the ongoing crises that afflict the region.
G8 promises African debt relief. 11 June 2004. BBC News
Africa Action Dismisses "Misdirected" G-8
Announcements on Africa. June 10, 2004.
African Leaders Seek G8
Follow-Through. 10 June 2004.
Debt relief bread for Iraq, crumbs for
Africa. June 10, 2004. Oxfam
Disappointment, But Door Left Open To Progress On Debt
Relief. 10 June 2004.
DATA Reacts to G8 Discussion of 100% Debt Relief From
International Financial Institutions.
09 June 2004.
G8 and African Leadership
in the War on AIDS and Extreme Poverty. 07 June 2004.
Global growth includes help for the world's
poor. June 10, 2004. Daniel J. Evans,
William H. Gates Sr., William Ruckelshaus and Bill Clapp. Seattle
Group of 8, Remember the Poor (Letter to the
H. Gates Sr., William Ruckelshaus.
How the G-8 can make a real difference. June 09, 2004. Abdoulay Wade. International
Mbeki: Aid Should Go to African
Continent. June 9, 2004.
G8 to adopt plan to stamp
out famine in Africa.
9 Jun 2004. Business Day (South Africa).
U.S. "Optimistic" on Africa's Development
9 June 2004. The United States is
"optimistic" about the potential success of the New Partnership for
Africa's Development (NEPAD), a senior administration official told
reporters attending the G8 Summit in Sea Island,
Crunch Time for Blair in Africa. DATA
(Debt-AIDS-Trade-Africa). 10 June
Building a Better Africa. 09 June 2004. Thabo
Mbeki. The Washington
Don't Know, Should
Care. June 5, 2004. Jeffrey D. Sachs. The New York
Protestors: G8 needs
Africa focus. Reena Vadehra. United Press International.
June 03, 2004
US State Department - Washington File - Selected
G8 Leaders Address Security,
Poverty, Health and Development. 10 June 2004
G8 Leaders Summit Talks Focus on
10 June 2004
G8 Vows to Boost Help for Poor
10 June 2004
U.S., G8 Building Partnerships to
Fight Corruption. 10
G8 Leaders Agree to Expand Efforts
to Fight Famine. 10
World Leaders Press for Reform in
Middle East, North Africa. 09 June 2004
G8 Broader Middle East and North
09 June 2004
Global Poverty Action Plan
Approved by G8 Leaders. 09 June 2004
G8 Plan Would Help Private Sector
Freedom, Prosperity, and Security: The G8
Partnership with Africa: Sea Island 2004 and
Beyond. A Council on Foreign Relations Special Report.
J. Brian Atwood and Robert S. Browne, Co-Chairs.
Princeton N. Lyman, Project Director. May