Africa & the G8 – 2005 G8 Summit, Gleneagles, Scotland, 6-8 July 2005

Official 2005 G8 Summit website (UK Govt)    Why is the G8 focusing on Africa in 2005?

White House 2005 G8 Summit website  


Make Poverty History Website    Live 8 – Official site


Financial Times G8 Summit Page         Jeffrey Sachs’ FT Blog on the G8 Summit: The End of Poverty

 

The Guardian (UK) G8 Summit Page     G8 Information Centre – University of Toronto


 

G8 Summit 2005 – Official Statements / Documents — 08 July 2005

 

Africa: A historic opportunity – G8 Communique on Africa

 

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Obasanjo Make a Statement Before Signing the Africa Communique.

 

British Prime Minister Tony Blair Reflects on ‘Significant Progress’ of G8 Summit

 

Gleaneagles 2005: Chairman’s Summary

 

Signed Version of Gleneagles Communique on Africa, Climate Change, Energy and Sustainable Development  (PDF)

 


G8 Summit 2005 – Commentaries, Opinions, Reports, Analyses, Etc.

Largely in reverse chronological order

 


 

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 ChallengesUN Economic Commission for Africa. Sept 2005

 

Oil windfalls bigger than G8 aidThe 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.

 

Poor 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.

Poverty targets will be missed, UN admitsThe 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.

The fight against poverty needs actions not words. (Letters). The Guardian (UK). September 12, 2005

And still he stays silentGeorge 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.

Letters (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 aidMark Curtis. The Guardian (UK). August 23, 2005The truth about Gleneagles puts a cloud over the New York summit.

Blair follows up on G8 pledges to help AfricaThe 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 NumbersU.S. Pledges of Aid to Africa: Let’s Do the Numbers. Steve Radelet and Bilal Siddiqi. Center for Global Development BriefJuly 19, 2005

US Warns 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.

Africa 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.

Live 8, 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, 2005

 

The G8 and Aid: Between hype and hope. How generous were the aid promises made at Gleneagles? And how new? The Economist. July 14, 2005.

The G8’s African challengeThe Economist. July 7 2005

$25 billion question: The difficulty of helping AfricaThe 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 2005.

 

The G8 Africa Brouhaha: Hot air and little substanceCharles Abugre. Pambazuka News 215: 14 July 2005.

Pambazuka News 214: Focus on G8: Make looting history. 6 July 2005

 

Africa 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, 2005

Bush Exaggerates Africa Funding. BlackPressUSA. July 14-20, 2005. Jim Lobe

IMF threat on G8 proposal of debt cancellationCommittee for the Cancellation of Third World Debt (CADTM)

A Message to World Leaders: What about the Damage We Do to Africa? (& Reactions to the Report). Royal African Society. June 2005

The end of the beginningJoseph Stiglitz. The Guardian. July 12, 2005. Debt relief alone won’t relieve third-world poverty.

Must Africans say thanks? Michael Dingake. Mmegi (Botswana). July 12, 2005.

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, 2005

Out Of AfricaNational 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.

G8 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.

G8 Outcome Disappoints African Civil SocietyThe Post (Zambia). July 11, 2005

African Govts would pursue the path of good governance – JAK. Ghanaweb.com. 11 July 2005

After G8, Blair puts ball in Africa’s court. 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 AfricaInternational 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 11, 2005

G8: 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 11, 2005.

G8 must do more for trade, says Busa. Independent Online. 11 July 2005

Blair hails ‘immense progress’ on Africa. ePolitix.com. 11 July 2005

Don’t let the bombs bury Africa’s hopePeter Preston. The Guardian. July 11, 2005.

Out of GleneaglesLeader. 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.

Plug the leaks – or waste the aidSony 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 Africa. Mariam Isa. Reuters. 10 July 2005

Is Gleneagles a watershed? The Star (South Africa)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

Geldof delighted at G8 action on aidThe 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 poverty.

Obasanjo Defends G8 AgreementVanguard (Nigeria). July 10, 2005

 

African head 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 the BBC.

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 Today09 July 2005

Blair defends G8 achievements but critics claim it is not enough. Sunday Herald. 09 July 2005

G8 summit: Your views (Comments from readers) — BBC News 

 

‘In a Shadow of Terror’, G8 Approves Package for AfricaThis Day (Nigeria). July 9, 2005

 

The 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 JulyActionAid. July 8, 2005.

 

Marchers provide hope for Africa. Analysis by Monica Naggaga, Oxfam Uganda Policy Coordinator. BBC News. 08 July 2005

Statement by the UN Secretary-General on the G8 Communique on Africa. United Nations. 08 July 2005

World Bank President Hails Africa PackageAssociated Press. 08 July 2005

Blair wins mixed applause on his G8 aid efforts. Financial Times. July 8 2005

Make Poverty History’s Response to G8 Communique

 

Assessing the G-8 Summit. Center for Global Development

 

Bono, Geldof Reaction to G8 Africa Communique. DATA (Debt AIDS Trade Africa). 8 July 2005

Bono, 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: US$204.7 billion

G8 Agrees on $50bn Aid Boost. BBC News. 08 July 2005

G8 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 6, 2005.

 

Political will, not just aid, can lift Africa out of despair. Jagdish Bhagwati and Ibrahim Gambari. Financial TimesJuly 4 2005


G8 – Business Action for Africa summit – July 5-6

Speech by Hilary Benn, UK Secretary of State for International Development at the G8 Business Action for Africa Conference, 6 July 2005


 

The root of the problem (Letters)The GuardianJuly 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 Symonds


Nobody Can 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 one? …


Corruption 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. (Applause.) ..


Humiliated 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 emotional self-gratification.

 

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”.


No one expects G-8’s Africa initiative to work. Adrian Hamilton. July 1, 2005.

…This year’s 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….


G8 – 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 continentThe Guardian. June 21, 2005. What are the plans, where have we got to and what is the verdict?

 

Governance:

 

What’s the plan?

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 to?

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.

 

The verdict

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 success: 4/10


Zimbabwe Casts Shadow Over G8 Africa Talks. L’Express (Mauritius). June 28, 2005.

…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 cash.


We 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.

 

A 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.

 

If 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 revenues.

 

But 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 222005.

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. …

 

G8 ‘still selling weapons to worst regimes’. Times Online (UK). 22 Jun 2005.

Irene 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 strong”.

 

British Attorney-General 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 ignored….


Aid sounds mighty nice, but it’s trade that feeds Africa. 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 obscene

 

…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….

 

Yet 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 boycott.

 

If 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.

 

He 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. “


African economies are pushing at an open trade doorAlan Beattie. Financial Times.  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.

 

….In reality, 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.”


UN 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.

 

African governments 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 hurts everybody.”

 

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”.


 

Making Poverty History in Africa: Beyond Debt Relief. Madaki O. Ameh. This Day (Nigeria). June 28, 2005.

 

Blair’s 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 their minds.

 

What Can Africa Really Expect From G8 and EU After July 1?. Patrick Van Rensburg. allAfrica.com/Mmegi/The Reporter(Botswana). June 24, 2005.

 

Africa is Its Own Worst EnemyOscar Kimanuka. East African. June 20, 2005.

 

Let G-8 Open Markets NowEast African. June 20, 2005.

 

Debt Relief an Empty, Backward GestureKenneth 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.

 

Africa 8: Eight women, one voiceA Gideon Mendel/ActionAid project. 8 African women in their own words


The only thing clear about the purposes of Live8 is Geldof’s need to flatter leadersYasmin Alibhai-Brown. The Independent. 04 July 2005. There is the saviour’s certainty, which reveals awareness without understanding

Bob 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 continent.

Don’t 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.


President 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, 2005.

U.S. Assistance to Africa. US Department of State    2005 G8 Summit Website – US Department of State

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, 2005.

Mr. Bush and Africa. Lead Editorial. The Washington Post. July 1, 2005.

 

Bush’s G-8 Plans Reveal Hollow Commitment to Africa. Africa Action. June 30, 2005

Africa Action Challenges Bush’s “Hollow Commitment to Africa”Accra Mail (Ghana). July 4, 2005.

 

We Must Put More on the Plate to Fight Global Poverty. Susan E. Rice. The Washington Post, July 5, 2005.

U.S. Foreign Assistance to Africa: Claims vs. Reality. Susan E. Rice. Brookings Institution. June 27, 2005

Bush 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, 2005.


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.

World Bank Chief Sees Africa as Continent of Hope. allAfrica.com. June 24, 2005

Wolfowitz to 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.

Reducing 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 TimesJuly 7 2005.

 

Aid is well worth tryingMartin Wolf. Financial TimesJuly 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 TimesJune 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 TimesJune 28 2005

 

UK’s Straw warns against high expectations of major progress at G8 summit. AFX Europe (Focus). June 29, 2005

 

Idealistic 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 world….”

Don’t make poverty: What the G8 must do to make poverty history. ActionAid Report

 

Debt deal a fraction of Africa’s real needs. Gary Duncan. Times Online. 13 June 2005. The £22bn relief deal has been widely welcomed but much more is needed to fulfil British hopes

 

Helping AfricaThe 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 world

 

Aid will not lift growth in Africa, warns IMF. Andrew Balls. Financial Times. June 30 2005. Leaders and pop stars ‘need to curb aid hopes’

Transcript: Press Briefing to Review Issues Related to Aid, Trade and Debt Relief to Poorest Countries. International Monetary Fund. June 30, 2005Video

What Undermines Aid’s Impact on Growth? IMF Working Paper
Aid and Growth: What Does the Cross-Country Evidence Really Show?  IMF Working Paper


Bob who? Live8 fails to resonate in Africa. Andrew England. Financial Times. July 1, 2005

 

Live 8 shows power, pitfalls of stars with a cause. Reuters UK. June 28, 2005

 

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 political world

 

“Neo-colonialist” Live8 organisers dig heels in over all-white gig. Shirin Aguiar and Lester Holloway. Black Information Link (UK). June 8, 2005

 

Africa 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.

 

Poverty and celebrities. Has a G8 summit ever been so hip? The Economist. June 2 2005

 


Africa & the G8 – Policy Discourse in Washington, DC (Event Transcripts)

Transcripts: Hearing: The G8 Summit and Africa’s DevelopmentThe Honorable Christopher H. SmithMr. Paul ReidMr. Robert Pittman [Pittman appendix]Mr. Gerald FloodMr. Roger BateMs. Imani Countess. US House Subcommittee on Africa. June 30, 2005

 

Countdown to the G-8 Summit: A Preview of the Challenges and Opportunities. The Brookings Institution. June 30, 2005.

 

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, 2005.


 

The 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

 

Performing the Twelve Labors: The G8’s Role in the Fight against Money Laundering. Denisse V. Rudich, G8 Governance. No. 12 (May 2005).


 

Putting Our House in Order: Recasting G8 policy towards Africa2005. David Mepham and James Lorge. Institute for Public Policy Research (UK).

G8 Africa policies should be subject to a ‘development audit’. 21 Feb 2005.

Accountability in Africa: whose problem? David Mepham, Institute for Public Policy Research (UK).  Feb 2005.

Africa and Governance – policy priorities for the G8. IPPR

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 ResultsJune 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. Africa Action.

 

African Leaders Seek G8 Follow-Through. 10 June 2004. allafrica.com

 

Debt relief bread for Iraq, crumbs for Africa. June 10, 2004. Oxfam New Zealand

 

Disappointment, But Door Left Open To Progress On Debt Relief. 10 June 2004. DATA (Debt-AIDS-Trade-Africa).

DATA Reacts to G8 Discussion of 100% Debt Relief From International Financial Institutions. 09 June 2004. DATA (Debt-AIDS-Trade-Africa).

G8 and African Leadership in the War on AIDS and Extreme Poverty07 June 2004. DATA (Debt-AIDS-Trade-Africa).

 

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 Times

 

Group of 8, Remember the Poor (Letter to the Editor). William H. Gates Sr., William Ruckelshaus. June 10, 2004. New York Times

 

How the G-8 can make a real difference. June 09, 2004. Abdoulay Wade. International Herald Tribune

 

Mbeki: Aid Should Go to African Continent. June 9, 2004. George Gedda.

 

G8 to adopt plan to stamp out famine in Africa9 Jun 2004. Business Day (South Africa).

 

U.S. “Optimistic” on Africa’s Development Potential9 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, Georgia.

 

Crunch Time for Blair in Africa. DATA (Debt-AIDS-Trade-Africa). 10 June 2004.

 

Building a Better Africa. 09 June 2004. Thabo Mbeki. The Washington Post.

 

Don’t Know, Should Care. June 5, 2004. Jeffrey D. Sachs. The New York Times

 

Protestors: G8 needs Africa focus. Reena Vadehra. United Press International. June 03, 2004 

 

US State Department – Washington File – Selected Reports

G8 Leaders Address Security, Poverty, Health and Development. 10 June 2004

 

G8 Leaders Summit Talks Focus on Development Issues. 10 June 2004

 

G8 Vows to Boost Help for Poor Indebted Countries. 10 June 2004

 

U.S., G8 Building Partnerships to Fight Corruption. 10 June 2004

 

G8 Leaders Agree to Expand Efforts to Fight Famine. 10 June 2004

 

World Leaders Press for Reform in Middle East, North Africa. 09 June 2004

 

G8 Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative. 09 June 2004

 

Global Poverty Action Plan Approved by G8 Leaders. 09 June 2004

 

G8 Plan Would Help Private Sector Alleviate Poverty. 09 June 2004

 

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 2004

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