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13.06.2007 General News

Life after the UN

Life after the UN

Africa Progress Panel, an independent international initiative on Africa, chaired by Busumuru Kofi Annan, immediate past United Nations (UN) Secretary General has called on the G8 to be clearer about the timetable by which they would honour their commitments to support Africa.

G8, is said, must continue to complement the stated resolve to deliver on previous promises with concrete plans and actions that would result in all commitments being delivered and on time.

A press statement issued by the Panel in Accra said this would allow for effective planning by African Governments.

With its unique makeup of international experts, the Panel was launched in Berlin, Germany, in April this year and aims at using its collective influence and knowledge to work with Africa and its development partners to focus on making the most of the growing opportunities for progress and ensure that commitments made by both sides are respected.

Busumuru Annan led a delegation of the Panel to hold discussions with President John Agyekum Kufuor at the Castle, Osu on Monday, where the former UN Chief said Africa did not need more new promises form the G8.

What it needed now was the delivery of those development assistance commitments already made. The G8 in 2005 at its summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, pledged to increase development aid to Africa by 2010 to 25 billion dollars. Total releases made last year, however, came to 2.1 billion dollars.

Whilst making sure that the development partners delivered on their promises, Busumuru Annan said the Panel would also work with African governments to make them do their bit of the bargain through good governance, implementation of prudent macro-economic policies and transparency.

President Kufuor welcomed the initiative as a humanitarian service, nothing that it was about time things were formalized and a permanent body put in place to sit on the G8 to deliver on their good intentions. He said Africa was determined to mainstream itself into globalization and needed more than just assistance but partnerships that would bring in investments.

Energy, education and water, he said, were critical areas that the continent required joint partnerships to address. President Kufuor assured the Panel of Ghana's total support.