14.03.2005 Business & Finance

Africa must be strengthened to compete globally - JAK

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Accra, March 14, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Monday said Africa must be strengthened to competently compete in the global market. He said Africa had been marginalized in global affairs for sometime now and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) was established for Africa to partner developed countries to be in the mainstream of globalisation.

President Kufuor made the call when Mr Mr Gordon Wetherell, British High Commissioner in Ghana, presented a copy of the 464-page report by the Commission for Africa (CfA) to him at the Castle, Osu.

He said the strengthening would depend on good governance and accountability where assistance offered by development partners was used transparently to the satisfaction of the people and partners.

President Kufuor said the Government shared the vision and ideals of the CfA and was poised to co-operate with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who mooted the idea, the European Union (EU) and the G8 to effectively and efficiently implement the report for the benefit of Africa.

"Ghana will partner Prime Minister Tony Blair to work together to change the history of the world," he added.

Mr Wetherell said the report was ambitious and a serious plan on governance, peace and security, investments, health and education, poverty reduction, aid and debt relief for Africa. He said it was in the interest of Britain to achieve the objectives of the Report by working together in partnership to achieve the objectives of the Report.

Mr Wetherell said the Report was an efficient record in the positive change on the African continent that had promoted hope. The British High Commissioner said Ghana had demonstrated a positive change in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) adding, "we look forward to work with Ghana to play its part to deepen and broaden the path of development."

The CfA initiated by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to help Africa improve its ailing conditions, released its Report on Friday, March 11.

It called on rich nations to end the appalling trade protectionism and double aid to 50 billion dollars a year to reduce poverty.

The report, launched simultaneously by Mr Blair in London and in Addis Ababa by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, also stressed the need for African leaders and their "Western collaborators" to do more to root out corruption and promote good governance.

The Commission, whose membership comprised of many prominent Africans proposed a 100 per cent debt cancellation for the poorest nations in sub-Saharan Africa "which need it". However, it quickly added that there should be true accountability and transparency.

The 17-member Commission, led by Mr Blair, includes Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Mr Trevor Manuel, Finance Minister of South Africa, Mr Fola Adeola, Chairman of FATE Foundation in Nigeria, Dr K.Y Amoako, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Dr Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director, UN Habitat in Tanzania and Mrs Linah Mohohlo, Governor, Bank of Botswana.

Others are former US Senator Nancy Baker, Hillary Benn, Secretary of State, DFID, UK, UK Chancellor Gordon Brown, international musician Bob Geldof of Ireland, Mr Michel Camdessus, African personal representative, France, Mr Paul Boothe, Ministry of Finance, Canada, Mr Ji Peiding of China, Mr Tidjane Thiam from C=F4te d'Ivoire, Mr William Kalema from Uganda and Elias Masilela, from South Africa.

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