The Blair Commission for Africa: Commentaries & Critiques

Africa: A historic opportunity – G8 Communique on Africa. 8 July 2005

 

Our Common Interest: The Report of the Commission for Africa. 11 March 2005

Commission for Africa Report Launched. UN Economic Commission for Africa Press Release. 11 Mar 05

Keynote Address by H.E Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (Ethiopia)
Address by K.Y. Amoako, Executive Secretary, ECA

Blair’s Commission Proposes $50bn Aid for Africa. Funmi Peter-Omale. ThisDay(Nigeria). Mar 12 05

 

Erasing the ScarThe Economist. March 11 2005. Africa will remain poor until its own people tackle corruption and poor governance

 

The Financial Times Commentary/Analysis

A report that sees Africa is changing. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala [Nigeria’s finance minister]Financial TimesMarch 10 2005.

Amnesia and self-interest cloud debate on Africa. Michael Peel. Financial Times.March 11 2005

Top-level call for radical change in Africa aid. David White. Financial TimesMarch 11 2005.

Let them eat words. Editorial. Financial TimesMarch 12 2005

The business case for helping Africa. Niall Fitzgerald. Financial Times. March 13 2005

Europe should take the lead in Africa. Martin Wolf. Financial Times. March 15 2005

 

The Guardian Commentary/Analysis

I believe this is Africa’s best chance for a generation … Our report is an ambitious call for action, but it’s rooted in the real world. Tony Blair. The Guardian. March 12, 2005

Leader: The next step is actionEditorial. The Guardian. March 12 2005

Time to help, not hinder Too many plans to aid Africa create problems by assuming that the west knows best, says ActionAid’s Taaka Awori.

Larry Elliott: No gain without pain

The greatest tragedy of our time: how the world can help, and why it must do so now

‘We’ve got the script, now let’s make the film’

Comment: Finding solutions to fundamental problems

Blair challenges world to end ‘obscenity’ of African poverty
Aid boost offered to Africa if corruption rooted out

 

The Independent Commentary/Analysis

Africa Commission had to work out what was wrong and how to fix it. Six months ago Paul Vallely was seconded from The Independent to join Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa. Today it issues its report, of which he is the principal author. This is his account of the mission for change. The Independent. 11 March 2005

The burning issue that needs to be addressed: corruption

Bob Geldof: Africa has become a living wound. Now we have the chance to heal it

Leading article: The report of the Africa Commission is a call to action – it must not go unheeded

Five months of talks must win over G8 members


Can this man (Blair) save Africa? Cover Story. New African. April 2005

Why does nobody care about blacks? Cover Story. New African. February 2005

Why Africa is treading water. Cover Story. New African. November 2004

 

Make Poverty History’s response to the Africa Commission Report


 

Links to commentaries, etc. on the Commission for Africa Report in African & other publications at allafrica.com

 

Sorry, Tony, African Graft is Even More Incurable Than Aids. 23 March 2005.

 

Blair Talks of Ordinary Africans, But How Will He Reach Them? 23 March 2005.

 

Africa Commission Report: The Unbreakable Link – Debt Relief and Development . 21 March 2005.

 

Africa Report: A Test of Will. 21 March 2005.

 

Africa: Rich Countries Promise More Aid. 21 March 2005. Commission for Africa report launched as Tony Blair puts the continent top on the agenda for G-8 Summit.

 

Commonwealth Secretary-General: Commission Report a Step Forward — But Africa

Needs Quantum Leap. March 17, 2005.

 

Blair Commission Recommendations Need Broad Support – Amoako. 12 March 2005. K. Y Amoako, an economist and commission member, says grass roots support is needed to “put the issues on the table” and turn the recommendations into policy.

 

Scientists, Academics and Politicians React. 14 March 2005.

 

Africa Needs Quantum Leap – Commonwealth Secretary General. 17 March 2005

 

Report Is ‘New Paradigm’ – Ethiopian PM. 18 March 2005

 

Our Uncommon Interest. 21 March 2005. What is needed to reduce poverty levels in Africa is a renewed commitment by world leaders to promote growth and development, argues Joseph Gitau.

 

ADB President Welcomes Report of the Commission for Africa. 18 March 2005.

 

UK/Africa: Commissioning Development?. 18 March 2005. Blair’s Commission for Africa report … has received mixed reviews. The report is largely a composite of frequently repeated

 

Making Poverty History. 18 March 2005.

 

How Much Chewing Gum Will Save a Continent? 18 March 2005All that is needed from the rich to save Africa is the price of “half a stick of chewing gum a day from everyone,” rock star and now star Africa activist Bob Geldof declared Friday.

 

The Commission Report ‘A New Paradigm’ – Ethiopian PM Meles Zenawi. 18 March 2005.

 

Secretary-General: Commission Report a Step Forward. 17 March 2005. “The Commission for Africa Report is a step in the right direction, but we still need a quantum leap before we see real change in the lives of African people,” said Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon

 

Commission for Africa Calls for Continent’s Involvement. 17 March 2005Africa’s leadership and participation is crucial in the fight against the continent’s political strife, economic stagnation and social upheavals.

 

Ask What Britain Can Do for Africa. 16 March 2005. The Commission for Africa report outlines at length what the world must do for Africa and Africa for itself. The report also sets out what Britain could be doing for Africa, and is not.

 

NEITI: Moving From Secrecy to Transparency. 16 March 2005. The new report throws up Mr. Blair’s old Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, first announced September 2002.

 

Blair Wants Action On Africa. 15 March 2005IMMEDIATE action should be taken to address Africa’s poverty, said UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

 

Africa is No Junior Partner in Own Development – ActionAid.15 March 2005.

 

Commission for Africa Report Launched. 15 March 2005.

 

Africa Must Take Up Mantle. 15 March 2005AFRICA has a chance to dig itself out of the mire with the concern that the international community has shown towards the world’s poorest continent.

 

Tide Has Turned in African Prospects. 15 March 2005.

 

No More Excuses: Africa Commission Report Must Spark Real Change. 14 March 2005. The Africa Commission’s report released today graphically illustrates the waste of human potential in Africa because of poverty and conflict – a preventable tragedy and a global injustice.

 

Now for the Hard Part. 14 March 2005No one doubts that, as the Commission for Africa has just emphasised, stronger universities are needed across the continent. The challenge is to create credible plans for achieving this – and then ‘sell’ them to potential donors.

 

Blair’s African Dream…The Answers Lie in Us. 14 March 2005Or should I have said Blair’s dream for Africa?

 

Blair Seeks 25bn for Africa’s Annual Debt Relief. 14 March 2005.

 

World Bank Endorses Commission for Africa Report. 14 March 2005.

 

Scientists, Politicians and Academics React to Blair Commission Report. 14 March 2005. Scientists, politicians, academics and others from across Africa comment below on the findings of the Commission for Africa

 

Commission for Africa. 14 March 2005THE report of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa contains a series of proposals for how development on the continent can be given “a comprehensive big push”. It’s a powerful document with strong messages for Africa and the world.

 

World Bank to Support Blair’s Africa Plan With Cash. 14 March 2005.

 

A Mixed Verdict for Commission’s Report. 14 March 2005A “decisive first step” towards making poverty in Africa history, an “exercise to cover up the Iraq war”: reactions to the report issued last week by Britain’s Commission for Africa have been many and varied.

 

Africa; Do Not Give Us Another Stillbirth Please. 14 March 2005Africa is once again pregnant with hope.

 

Debt Relief May Not Improve Our Lives. 14 March 2005.

 

Blair’s Commission Proposes $50bn Aid for Africa. 14 March 2005.

 

Fraud Bars Africa’s Growth – Commission. 14 March 2005.

 

Commission for Africa Stresses Shared Responsibilities. 14 March 2005.

 

‘Hard-Hitting’ Report Needs Grass Roots Support To Turn Bold Recommendations Into Policy, Amoako. 12 March 2005.

 

How Europe Tricks Africa. 11 March 2005At last the Western states appear to be beginning to own up. It is that Western companies and experts are major players in the myriad of corrupt deals involving African states.

 

Blair Report Calls for Massive Aid to Africa. 11 March 2005.

 

Pessimism Greets UK’s Rescue Plan for Africa. 11 March 2005. “We’ve heard it all before” was the response from many Africans to Britain’s new rescue plan for the continent, revealing doubts over whether well-meaning words will translate into action.

 

Annan Welcomes UK Commission On Africa Report As Important Contribution to Solutions. 11 March 2005.

 

Science Capacity ‘Imperative’ for Africa’s Development. 11 March 2005.

 

Mbeki Welcomes Africa’s Bold Report. 11 March 2005.

 

Money Can’t Buy You Growth. 11 March 2005RADICAL solutions to Africa’s plight are suddenly in vogue. But they are wide of the mark, falsely presuming that the problem with African development has been not enough aid and debt relief –

 

Commission for Africa Report Launched. 11 March 2005.

 

Another Bombardment of Well-Meant Initiatives? 09 March 2005. According to Tony Blair, the ills that have been afflicting Africa such as poverty, disease and war, are preventable with the right leadership

 

Blair Faces Africa Trade Heat. 08 March 2005Tony Blair tomorrow (Wednesday 9 March) faces growing pressure over plans for Africa to open its markets to western imports – from a key Ugandan MP.

 

Commission for Africa To Seek US$5 Billion to Strengthen African Universities. 08 March 2005.

 

Aid Simply Supports Govt Incompetence, Corruption. 07 March 2005.

 

Lagos: the Blair Commission for Africa Was Here. 23 Feb 2005. A member of the Commission for Africa, Fola Adeola, has lamented that the continent is the only single regional block in the world that is not participating in the rapidly expanding global economy…

 

Tory MP Dismisses Blair’s CFA As Hogwash, Window Dressing. 22 Feb 2005. A BRITISH Conservative Party member of parliament has dismissed Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa (CfA) as “hogwash and window dressing”.


 

BBC News Website – Africa 2005: Time for Change?

Action urged on new Africa report. 19 March 2005. Band Aid founder Bob Geldof says the world’s governments must act now to make the Commission for Africa’s report “a reality”.

Corruption fears over new aid plan. 14 March 2005. Ugandan farmers struggling to make a living worry that new aid for Africa may be siphoned off by corrupt politicians, Martin Plaut reports.
Africa report findings welcomed. 12 March 2005. African leaders cautiously welcome the report of the UK-led Commission for Africa, which calls for increased aid.
Ghana: Former ‘beacon of hope’ makes strides. 11 March 2005. The BBC’s Mike Wooldridge reports from Ghana on how the country is faring, almost 50 years after independence.
Commission for Africa: African voices. 11 March 2005. Eight Africans tell the BBC News website what they think about the Commission for Africa’s final report.
Africa report: Reaction. 11 March 2005. African commentators and western-based aid agencies give their reaction to the release of a report calling for action by the UK-led Commission for Africa.

Plugging the ‘brain drain’. 11 March 2005. How can Africa stem the health brain drain and keep its home-grown talent?

Africa report demands aid boost. 11 March 2005. A major report on Africa calls for a new partnership based on more Western aid in return for better governance.

Past plans cast shadow on Africa report. 11 March 2005. When the Commission for Africa unveils its report it will be treading a well-worn path.

Africa report at a glance. 11 March 2005. The main points of the Commission for Africa, set up by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair last year, tasked with finding the best ways of raising living standards on the world’s poorest continent.

Africa Commission report: Analysis – Implementation the hardest part. 11 March 2005. The Africa Commission report faces an uphill struggle if it is to gain acceptance in the West and achieve its goals, says Africa Confidential’s Patrick Smith.
Looking to leave the past behind. 09 March 2005. Modern Africa’s failure to develop is due to bad politics and leaders as well as the West’s legacy, writes Richard Dowden.
Botswana: Africa’s success story?. 07 March 2005. Botswana is doing well by African standards, but falls short of the British prime minister’s vision for a strong and prosperous continent.
Mozambique PM attacks Africa plan. 07 March 2005. Mozambique says a “one size fits all” approach will not meet the individual needs of African nations.
Blair sets date for Africa report. 24 Feb 2005. The Commission for Africa’s report will be released on 11 March, Comic Relief day, Tony Blair says.
Africa Commission concludes talks. 24 Feb 2005. The Africa Commission has its last chance on Thursday to formulate plans to tackle trade and debt relief.


 

Annan welcomes UK Commission on Africa report as important contribution to solutions. UN News Service (New York). 11 March 2005

 

Blair challenges world to end ‘obscenity’ of African poverty. Sarah Left. Africans and others working to solve the continent’s problems said the challenge was to implement the report’s recommendations. The Guardian (UK). 11 March 2005

 

Bob Geldof: Africa has become a living wound. “Then there is debt. For every £2 we send [Africa] in aid they have to send £1 back in debt repayments – on debts which are odious as well as onerous.” Belfast Telegraph. 11 March 2005

 

How Europe tricks Africa: Editorial. That the Blair commission can now openly discuss issues that have always been raised only in conspiratorial tones is welcome. But that is only half the story. The Nation (Nairobi). 11 March 2005

 

What’s old is new. Lisa Peryman. Critics of the final report from British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa say it offers nothing new but are they missing the point? Odious Debts Online. 11 March 2005

 

World leaders address Africa with activist voice. Stephanie Nolen. Commission inspired by Live Aid activist Bob Geldof and British Prime Minister Tony Blair calls for dramatic reforms to aid. The Globe and Mail (Canada). 11 March 2005

 

A conduit for corruption?  Jeremy Scott-Joynt. The report of the Africa Commission is expected to call for rich countries, and particularly their financial services industry, to do more to fight corruption. BBC News. 10 March 2005

 

Aminatta Forna: The West must own up to its part in African corruption. The Africa Commission this week will finally acknowledge the West’s complicity in corruption. The Independent (UK). 10 March 2005

 

One small step for Africa. Richard Dowden. The Africa Commission report could mark the beginning of the end of Africa’s decline but there is no quick way back up. Times Online (UK). 10 March 2005

 

Blair targets corruption in Africa plan. David Pallister, Patrick Smith and Larry Elliott.The UK’s Commission for Africa report due for release this Friday, urges greater commitment from the West to help African countries stamp out corruption by “tackling those who offer bribes as well as those who take them.” The Guardian. 05 March 2005

 

Spotlight falls on corruption of Africa. Madeleine Bunting. Rather than putting the blame solely on African governments, which has been the common tendency of some western governments, the Commission for Africa report makes a significant shift in the other direction. The Guardian. 05 March 2005

 

It’s the climate, stupid. Nazeem Dramat. Mail & Guardian Online. 04 March 2005

 


Blair’s Commission on Africa – Amoako’s Africa DiaryBlog–reflections on African development from the head of the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa


Perspectives on Blair’s Commission for Africa – Links to documents – The Southern African Regional Poverty Network


 

Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa: What Prospects for 2005? Conference jointly organized by Royal African Society, London, and African Diaspora Voices for Africa’s Development (ADVAD). 13 October 2004.

 

African voices: Commission for Africa – Views of the African voices panel. BBC News. 12 October 2004

 

Turning Blair’s words into action. Fergal Keane. BBC News. 10 October 2004.

 

Talking Point: Can the world do more for Africa? (Video). 11 October 2004. BBC News.

 

Tony Blair in Africa (1). Ike Okonta. ThisDay (Nigeria). 09 October 2004.

 

Blair’s message: A Pan-Africanist View. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem. The New Vision(Uganda). 7 October 2004.

 

Blair calls for action on Africa. BBC News. 7 October, 2004.

 

Commission for Africa: Second meeting, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 7 October 2004

Africa Commission press conference. 7 October 2004

Blair and Geldof meet ‘Live Aid girl’

Tony Blair’s speech

Interview with Bob Geldof

 

Blair Commission must produce action for Africa. Oxfam UK Press Release. 6 October 2004.

 

Africa body offers new start. David Loyn. BBC News. 6 October 2004. The Commission on Africa, a British initiative to re-examine the problems of the continent, meets in Africa for the first time on Thursday.

VIDEO: The BBC’s David Loyn: “It’s hard to see how Africa will benefit”

 

Taking Africa in hand. Tom Geoghegan. BBC News. 6 October 2004. Tony Blair is back in Africa, somewhere he is committed to “healing”. But what is it about the continent that troubles the consciences of politicians, pop stars and privileged school children?

 

Africa Commission’s uphill task. Analysis. Steve Schifferes. BBC News. 6 October 2004.

 

Can the Tony and Bob Show really do any good in Africa? The Independent (UK). 05 October 2004. Tomorrow, Tony Blair arrives in Ethiopia with Bob Geldof for a meeting of his Commission for Africa. But what do African leaders make of his recommendations and how do they view Mr Blair? Richard Dowden reports from Addis Ababa

 

Blair summit plan to heal the ‘scar’ of Africa. Eleanor Cowie. The Herald (UK). October 04 2004

‘Get real’ on Africa, urges Bono. 29 September 2004. Bono, lead singer with the Irish rock band U2, has urged Labour to “get real” and deal with the problems of world poverty and the AIDS crisis.

Tall order for Blair’s Africa commissionMartin Plaut. BBC News. 7 September 2004

Can Blair save Africa from poverty? BBC News. Online Commentaries & Critiques. 3 September 2004.

Commision for Africa can drive forward war on hunger6 Jul 2004. The Commission for Africa could provide the impetus needed to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger from the continent, according to Ethiopia’s leader, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

 

Commission for Africa goes Online21 June 2004. The official website for the Commission for Africa, which is launched today, will seek people’s ideas on helping to drive forward Africa’s development.

 

Charities warn Blair over aid to Africa16 June 2004. Ashley Seager. The Guardian(UK). Global charities today urge Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to increase Britain’s aid to poor countries as the United Nations says that many African countries will take 150 years to meet poverty targets set for 2015.

Commission For Africa. Christopher Rowan. The Lowdown (Zambia). June 2004

Healing the scar. Joe Perry. Progress (UK). The Commission for Africa will need to be followed up by political will.

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

 

Commission for Africa: “No Place to Hide”. 03 June 2004.

 

African aid gives Britain a big test17 May 2004. Kevin Watkins (OXFAM). The Guardian (UK)However heroic the promises, the war against African poverty will be lost without huge increases in aid.

 

Letter: What Africa needs. 17 May 2004. Davo Simplice Vodouhe, Alexandra Baier, Simon Ferrigno. The Independent (UK).

 

Africa: Can It Ever Be Saved? 09 May 2004. David Pratt. Sunday Herald (UK). Tony Blair has promised his Commission for Africa will take ‘a fresh look’ at the troubled continent . But the people on the ground are tired of being looked at…What they really want is action

 

Blair and BrandtOur word is our weapon. May 04, 2004

 

It Is Not Words That Africa Needs Today!  06 May 2004. Abdul Raheem Tajudeen.New Vision (Uganda). allAfrica.com.

 

Diamonds are not an African’s best friend05 May 2004. Johann HariThe Independent(UK)If you really want to make a difference when it comes to Africa, Tony, there is something you could do…

 

PM urges action plan for Africa. Charlotte Moore and Ashley Seager. May 5, 2004. The Guardian (UK)

How to help Africa (Letters). May 7, 2004. The Guardian (UK).

 

Blair Promises Africa Poverty FightWorld Bank Press Review – 05 May 2004

 

African aid: It just needs action. Editorial. May 5, 2004. The Guardian (UK) 

PM urges action plan for AfricaMay 5, 2004. Charlotte Moore and Ashley Seager. The Guardian (UK) 

International Commission On Africa To Meet For First TimeWorld Bank Press Review – 04 May 2004

 

Africa inquiry ‘won’t dictate policy’May 4, 2004. Charlotte Moore. The Guardian (UK)

 

Africa Commission’s uphill taskBBC News4 May, 2004. Steve Schifferes.

 

What are the challenges facing Africa? BBC NewsForum/Opinions. 04 May 2004

 

New plan tackles Africa problemsBBC News03 May 2004

 

Blair Launches Africa CommissionBBC News27 February 2004.

 

What Chance Saving Africa? May 04, 2004. Michael Dynes. The Times (UK). The challenge facing Tony Blair’s new Commission for Africa, and its chances of success.


Geldof warns Blair over African ‘badge of shame’
May 04, 2004. The Times (UK). Bob Geldof warned Tony Blair and Gordon Brown today that it would be a “badge of personal shame” if they left office without bringing about some “significant improvement” in Africa.

 

Blair’s Africa commission is ‘unnecessary diversion from real action for Africa’. 29 April 2004. World Development Movement (WDM). A list of 15 things Tony Blair can do for Africa that he doesn’t need a Commission for Africa to tell him.

 

UK Willing to Focus On Africa. April 16, 2004. allAfrica.comBritish Development Minister Hilary Benn says the Commission for Africa, established by Prime Minister Tony Blair, represents above all a show of political will by the UK to place Africa at the forefront of the international development agenda.

 

Hands off the only way to help Africa. April 4, 2004. The Observer (UK). In a letter to Bob Geldof, economist Benny Dembitzer, who has worked in 35 countries on the continent, argues that if Africans are to develop successfully, it will be in spite of, not because of, anything the West does.

 

Is Blair’s New Africa Commission Letting the Cat Out of the Bag? 24 March 2004.Chinua AkukweBusiness Day (South Africa).

 

UK Thumbs Up For Ghana: But does Africa need another fact-finding commission? 15 March 2004. allAfrica.com.

 

Amoako on New Blair Commission. 09 March 2004. allAfrica.com.

 

Blair Africa Commission ‘A Chance to Move From Rhetoric To Action’. 04 March 2004.allAfrica.com. The UN Economic Commission for Africa’s Executive Secretary, K.Y. Amoako, has said he believes the new Commission for Africa launched by British Prime Minister Tony Blair offers an opportunity to move from rhetoric to action.

 

How Blair could go one better than Brandt01 March 2004. Larry Elliott. The Guardian (UK)

 

Blair Sets Up Commission for Africa. 01 March 2004. allAfrica.com.

 

Reaction to Tony Blair’s Announcement of a Commission for Africa26 February 2004.DATA (Debt-AIDS-Trade-Africa)

 

Blair Commission extols TanzaniaIPP Media. 12 September 2004.

Video: Panel Discussion of Blair Commission for Africa (CfA) Report, by Members: Ralph Goodale, finance minister of Canada, and K.Y. Amoako, executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, along with UK Ambassador to the US, Sir David Manning and CfA policy director Sir Nick Stern. Q&A. Center for Strategic & International Studies Event, Washington, DC, April 15, 2005. Includes question & comment by an ALPN Director & panelists’ responses on funding for civil society capacity building & G8 funding for MCA-vetted/qualified African countries.

The Blair Commission for Africa – Official Website.    Why Africa? Bob Geldof.


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