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Africa: G8 Goals and Promises

AfricaFocus Bulletin
Jun 24, 2010 (100624)
(Reposted from sources cited below)

Editor's Note

The ritual is familiar, as leaders of the G8 countries gather for their annual meeting, this year in Canada, and followed immediately by the parallel meeting of the expanded G20 countries. Although they take backseat to major power debate on their own responses to global economic crisis, previous commitments to the development of Africa are to be reviewed and, in part, renewed. But even the upbeat spin from the G8's own evaluation cannot conceal the fact that fulfillment of commitments has at best been "a very mixed picture."

This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains several short documents with different views of the status of international commitment to Africa's development: (1) a report from IRIN on the G8's accountability report; (2) a press release from Stephen Lewis, with a critique of the G8's report and references to other more critical reports; (3) a press release from the Africa Progress Panel citing a "a truly mixed picture" combining "remarkable progress" as well as "chronic problems," and (4) a press release from McKinsey Global Institute on their new report "Lions on the Move: The progress and potential of African economies."

The G8's own Mushoka Accountability Report is available on the G8 summit site (

For additional reports on G8 promises and Millennium Development Goals, see

DATA Report 2010

MDG Report 2010

Another AfricaFocus Bulletin sent out today, available at has excerpts from the new UNDP report on South-South collaboration, stressing the need for action to ensure that African relations with new emerging powers do not duplicate the patterns of primary commodity export established by existing ties with rich countries of Europe and North America.

For previous AfricaFocus Bulletins on economic issues, visit

++++++++++++++++++++++end editor's note+++++++++++++++++++++++

G8 falls short on development aid

Dakar, 22 June 2010 (IRIN) - Leaders of G8 countries will meet in Canada on 25 June, with international development aid high on the agenda. Ahead of the summit, the G8 has issued the Muskoka Accountability Report outlining commitments met and not met, with mixed results.

At Gleneagles in 2005, donor members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) pledged to commit US$50 billion to overseas development aid by 2009. Thus far, they are $11 billion short.

Some donors are setting the pace: Canada and Germany pledged to double overseas development aid (ODA) between 2004 and 2010 and by 2009 had upped assistance by 54 and 59 percent respectively. But increases from the US, UK and France lag behind at 45 percent, Italy at 34 percent, and Japan just 6 percent.

Most donors fell short of targets to direct 0.51 percent of gross national income to overseas aid by 2010. The UK, which has steadily increased the proportion of its budget spent on aid over recent years, did achieve it, channelling 0.56 percent, but it is estimated that in 2010 the US will reach only O.2 percent; Italy 0.16 percent; Canada 0.3 percent; Germany 0.35 percent and France 0.47 percent.

While G8 donors promised to target their aid towards the most vulnerable, just 41 and 43 percent of Germany and France's aid respectively goes to low-income countries versus 69 percent of Canada's.

OECD donors promised to reach a $25 billion aid target for Africa by 2010, but have achieved less than half that, according to NGO Oxfam.

"Despite their best efforts to put a positive gloss on their progress, the G8 report shows clearly that the promise made in Gleneagles in 2005 to increase aid will be broken," said Oxfam spokesman Mark Fried. "The draft G8 communiqu‚ conveniently ignores the commitment to increase aid by $50 billion, when it should have an emergency plan to fill the $20 billion shortfall over the next two years. These are not just numbers. They represent vital medicines, kids in school, help for women living in poverty and food for the hungry."

Canadian and African Activists Call on G8/G20 Leaders to Take Action on Aids Crisis at Home and Abroad

Statement by Stephen Lewis, Co-Director, AIDS-Free World released at a press conference in Toronto, June 22, 2010,

At the Gleneagles G8 Summit in 2005, the G8 countries committed themselves to providing Africa with $25 billion additional dollars by 2010.

Three reports have emerged in the last short time assessing the actual achievements.

According to the Muskoka Accountability report, released this week by the G8 itself, the commitment has fallen short by at least $7 billion. The report is so self-serving and opaque that it's frankly impossible to divine the exact figure, but even taking it at its best, it means that the G8 will fall short by almost 30%.

According to the DATA report 2010, put out by the ONE campaign, co-founded by Bono, the G8 has fallen short by at least $8.9 billion (using a slightly different form of calculation). That represents a shortfall of almost 40%. Bono and company do their best to flatter the contributions of the G8, but even they are forced to say that the increases from 2005 to 2010 "have fallen far short of what was promised."

Finally, according to the "Africa Progress Report 2010", published by a unique panel of internationalists, chaired by Kofi Annan, when the $25 billion commitment comes due at the end
of this year, the G8 will have fallen short by at least $9.8 billion. This report, by far the most thoroughly prepared of the three, calls it a "staggering shortfall."

This background is merely to underscore the betrayal of Africa to which the G8 is congenitally addicted.

It should come as no surprise then to learn that now, the G8 is explicitly cutting back on funding for HIV/AIDS.

I see no point in beating around the bush. In the United States, the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is being flat-lined, for at least the next two years. That this should happen under President Obama seems inconceivable. It not only negates the pledge that the President (and Hillary Clinton) made during the campaign; it even fails to take advantage of the willingness of Congress to support extra funding.

Worse, the rationale hides behind intellectual sophistry. The argument is that AIDS has had too much money, and additional funds should go to other health imperatives like maternal and child health. No one in his or her right mind would argue with broader financial support for all aspects of global health. But to diminish the dollars that might be available for AIDS, rather than enlarging the financial pie overall is so wrong-headed as to defy rational analysis.

And let no one doubt the consequences. Right at the moment when we know how to treat large numbers; right at the moment when we have five million people in treatment; right at the moment when another nine million require treatment now; right at the moment when hope is finally alive, PEPFAR is flat-lining the budget. M‚decins Sans FrontiŠres (MSF) recently released a report documenting cut-backs, portending grievous consequences, in Uganda, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. There are AIDS projects, run by other NGOs, where new patients cannot be enrolled unless someone dies: indeed, the cut-backs have become so disastrous in
places that HIV-positive pregnant women are being turned away, as are people so sick they're coming to the hospital in wheelbarrows.

Surely we've had enough of the ravenous carnage of AIDS. Let's be clear: we're threatened with another outbreak of death akin to the ghastly pattern of the early years of this decade. It cannot be allowed to happen. Someone has to get to the President and tell him that his advisors, decent and honourable though they may be, are taking Africa down a deadly path.

But that's just the half of it. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has a replenishment conference this fall, seeking $20 billion over three years. The Global Fund has performed magnificently in a number of areas, and yet there's every prospect that they'll fall up to $7 billion short.

Again the spectre of death will stalk the land.

If the G8 and G20 are to do more than dissemble, they have to match their actions to their commitments. This time, they must put up the money that's required for Africa along with a timetable for delivery, and then they must keep their promises by sticking to that timetable. They have to understand that maternal and child health are inextricably tied up with HIV/AIDS. If you don't address the pandemic, you'll never decisively reduce maternal and child mortality in Africa. For the proof, simply note that maternal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa increased by
61,000 last year, almost all of it due to AIDS. HIV/AIDS is the ultimate nemesis.

And for those weeping willows who use the financial crisis as the mother of all excuses, just pause a moment to think of corporate bailouts and corporate bonuses. Something is completely out of whack.

Africa Progress Report calls on African leaders to turn "scramble for Africa" into real results for the continent; progress being made despite not because of governance

Panel wants action from policymakers to translate continent's "immense resources" into concrete benefits for its people

Johannesburg - 25 May 2010: The Africa Progress Report launched today by the Africa Progress Panel (APP) states that African leaders need to boost "political determination and capacity to use what revenues they have to achieve results for people".

Kofi Annan, Chair of the Panel and fellow Panel members Linah Mohohlo, Peter Eigen and Olusegun Obasanjo presented the Africa Progress Report on Africa Day - five years since the establishment of the Panel and 10 years since world leaders signed up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The report takes stock of Africa's progress since 2005 and assesses future opportunities for the continent.

"This landmark report argues that Africa's future is in its own hands, but that success in managing its own affairs depends on supportive global policies and agreements," Annan said. "There is no lack of resources, no deficiency of knowledge and no shortage of plans. Africa's progress rests above all else on the mobilisation of political will, both on the continent and internationally."

The Report, focusing on Africa's emergence as a "new economic frontier", notes that economic engagement with the Global South - China, the Far and Middle East, South Asia and Latin America - "is already having a substantial development impact on Africa". However, the report asserts that "Africans beyond elite circles are not benefiting sufficiently" while at the same time "there is great scope to improve Africa's partnerships with the Global South". The report also notes that "African leaders... need to realize that the benefits of increasing economic ties are not automatic, but only accrue to those that take adequate and pro-active steps to exploit them through targeted policies."

In particular, the report calls for:

  • Transparency throughout the entire resource system, from how contracts are awarded and monitored, to how taxes and royalties are collected, to how investment choices are made and executed.
  • Policies that ensure that the revenues from the continent's natural wealth reach everyone. This requires major policy shifts and significant investments of resources in institutions, human capacities, women, health, education and infrastructure.

Stating that "Africa's development and the welfare of its people depend above all upon the political commitment and capacity of its leaders", the Panel also urges African policymakers to:

1)Empower women by enforcing existing conventions, laws and policies and link their efforts with effective implementation strategies including reliable reporting mechanisms

2)Climate proof development, not least through integrating adaptation to climate change into growth and development strategies, accelerating regional integration, harnessing the potential of information technology and anticipating demographic shifts

The Panel also identifies three priority areas for action for Africa's partners, recording that Africa's leaders "need an international environment that is fair and supportive of their efforts." The report calls for international policymakers to:

1)Provide a level playing field, addressing the fact that "the continent is starkly underrepresented in virtually all international fora" and that "bloated subsidy regimes and unfair trade rules" leave African countries "heavily disadvantaged."

2)Increase policy coherence for development, "recognising the overall impact that countries' domestic and international policy mix has on the continent and seek to minimize their negative effects."

3)Fulfil promises on resources and assistance, and "Africa's partners to recommit to the consensus on the continent's development and fulfil the many promises on financial support and assistance they have made over the last decade".

Focusing on the approximately $100 billion of financial assistance in annual expenditure from Africa's partners required to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in the presence of anticipated climate change, the report records that "much of this could actually be met if partners were to fulfil the pledges they made over the last couple of years and realize the financing ambitions outlined in the Copenhagen Accord." It notes that "the mechanisms to collect, administer, and disburse these funds are already in place."

Looking back on Africa's progress over the last five years, the report describes it as "a truly mixed picture." It states that "remarkable progress has been achieved in many fields, but... a number of set-backs, chronic problems and the effects of the global economic crisis and climate change combine to threaten the gains made since 2005."

The Africa Progress Report highlights that the central challenge for Africa's leaders is to inspire processes and build practical capacities, both nationally and regionally, to ensure that assets are translated into social benefits and that their people are able to access opportunities that can transform their lives, countries, and continent.

About the Africa Progress Panel:

The Africa Progress Panel brings together a unique group of leaders under the chairmanship of Kofi Annan. The Panel monitors and promotes mutual accountability and shared responsibility for progress in Africa. Its three focus areas are economic and political governance; finance for sustainable development, including ODA; and MDG achievement - notably in light of climate change. The work of the Panel aims to track progress and draw attention to critical issues and opportunities for progress in Africa.

The Africa Progress Panel is comprised of:

*Kofi Annan (chair of the Africa Progress Panel, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Laureate)

*Tony Blair (founder, Africa Governance Initiative and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

*Michel Camdessus (former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund)

* Peter Eigen (founder and Chair of the Advisory Council, Transparency International and Chairman of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative)

* Bob Geldof (musician, businessman, founder and Chair of Band Aid, Live Aid and Live8, Co-founder of DATA and ONE)

* Graça Machel (President of the Foundation for Community Development and founder of New Faces New Voices)

*Linah Kelebogile Mohohlo (Governor, Bank of Botswana)

* Olusegun Obasanjo (Envoy of the Secretary-General on the Great Lakes region and former President of Nigeria)

* Robert Rubin (Co-Chairman of the Board, Council on Foreign Relations and former Secretary of the United States Treasury)

*Tidjane Thiam (Chief Executive Officer, Prudential Plc.)

* Muhammad Yunus (economist, founder of Grameen Bank and Nobel Laureate)


For international media inquiries please contact: Hannah McCullagh
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7842 0147
Mob: + 44 (0) 794 468 9158

For media based in South Africa, please contact:
Gennaro Pisapia
Tel: + 27 (0) 21 417 5724
Mob: + 27 (0) 72 434 8515

Lions on the move: The progress and potential of African economies

[Report is available for viewing at / direct URL:]

  • Africa's collective GDP, at $1.6 trillion in 2008, is now roughly equal to Brazil's or Russia's. While Africa's increased economic momentum is widely recognized, less known are its sources and likely staying power. Among the key findings:
  • Africa's growth acceleration was widespread, with 27 of its 30 largest economies expanding more rapidly after 2000. All sectors contributed, including resources, finance, retail, agriculture, transportation and telecommunications. Natural resources directly accounted for just 24 percent of the continent's GDP growth from 2000 through 2008. Key to Africa's growth surge were improved political and macroeconomic stability and microeconomic reforms.
  • Future economic growth will be supported by Africa's increasing ties to the global economy. Rising demand for commodities is driving buyers around the world to pay dearly for Africa's natural riches and to forge new types of partnerships with producers. And Africa is gaining greater access to international capital; total foreign capital flows into Africa rose from $15 billion in 2000 to a peak of $87 billion in 2007.
  • Africa's economic growth is creating substantial new business opportunities that are often overlooked by global companies RMGI projects that at least four groups of industries-consumer-facing industries, agriculture, resources, and infrastructure-together could generate as much as $2.6 trillion in revenue annually by 2020, or $1 trillion more than today.
  • Today the rate of return on foreign investment in Africa is higher than in any other developing region. Early entry into African economies provides opportunities to create markets, establish brands, shape industry structure, influence customer preferences, and establish long-term re*ationships. Business can help build the Africa of the future.
  • The rise of the African urban consumer also will fuel long-term growth. Today, 40 percent of Africans live in urban areas, a portion close to China's and continuing to expand. The number of households with discretionary income is projected to rise by 50 percent over the next 10 years, reaching 128 million. By 2030, the continent's top 18 cities could have a combined spending power of $1.3 trillion.

To understand the growth opportunities and challenges of individual economies, MGI developed a framework that groups them in four broad clusters: diversified economies, oil exporters, transition economies, and pre-transition economies. Though imperfect, this framework can guide business leaders and investors developing strategies for the continent and policy makers working to sustain growth.

AfricaFocus Bulletin is an independent electronic publication providing reposted commentary and analysis on African issues, with a particular focus on U.S. and international policies. AfricaFocus Bulletin is edited by William Minter.

AfricaFocus Bulletin can be reached at Please write to this address to subscribe or unsubscribe to the bulletin, or to suggest material for inclusion. For more information about reposted material, please contact directly the original source mentioned. For a full archive and other resources, see

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