In February 2004, the UK Government launched a new 'Commission for Africa'.
The aim of the Commission is to produce a report with recommendations on how to make
the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) work in Africa.
The Commission will be chaired by Tony Blair.
As of April 2004, thirteen Commissioners have been chosen: Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Hilary Benn from the UK Government,
Trevor Manuel (Finance Minister of South Africa), Meles Zenawi (President of Ethiopia),
Ben Mkapa (President of Tanzania), Bob Geldof, Nancy Kassenbaum Baker (former US Senator), Anna
Tibaijuka (Executive Director of UN-HABITAT), Michel Camdessus (former head of the IMF), K.Y. Amoako
(secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa), Ralph Goodale (Finance Minister of Canada) and Tidjane
Thiam (Aviva PLC, Cote d'Ivoire). It is expected that another four or so Commissioners will be appointed.
The Commissioners will meet for the first time on 4th May 2004.
The Commission will be serviced by a Secretariat staffed by British civil servants.
It will have its own web site and will solicit input via the web site. Written submissions are being encouraged from civil society organisations. The Commission will work on the following themes: economics/finance/trade, human development (eg, health and education), governance, conflict, culture and heritage, environment/natural resources. It is envisaged that one of the Commissioners from Africa will be responsible for overseeing liaison with African civil society.
The intention is to produce a report with recommendations in advance of the UK hosted G8 in 2005.