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G8 2005

Progress report by the G8 Africa Personal Representatives on implementation of the Africa Action Plan

1 July 2005

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Summary

  1. In 2002, the G8 leaders at the Summit in Kananaskis agreed an Africa Action Plan (AAP) which welcomed the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as a bold and clear-sighted vision providing an historic opportunity to overcome obstacles to development in Africa. Our Africa Action Plan set out how the G8 partners would enhance their engagement with African countries in support of NEPAD.We reviewed progress against this at Evian in 2003 and committed to review progress again in 2005. This joint report reflects the views of the Africa Personal Representatives on the progress the G8 have made collectively, and through significant individual contributions, since the G8 Evian Summit in France in 2003.


  2. In 2002,we said the case for action in Africa was compelling. This was not only based on the scale of the challenges, but also the opportunity presented by the vision of NEPAD. Since then, there has been significant progress in Africa in enshrining the principles of NEPAD into governance structures at a regional and national level. The transformation of the Organisation of African Unity into the African Union, the establishment of the AU Peace and Security Council, and the 23 countries that have signed up to the ground-breaking African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) demonstrate that the African vision is taking root. The number of conflicts in Africa continues to fall. Political stability and democracy have been strengthened in many countries. Regional co-operation is being enhanced. Governance indicators are improving at least as fast as any developing region. Primary school enrolment has increased rapidly and political commitment to tackle HIV and AIDS has increased. The IMF is projecting economic growth for Africa at over 5.3% for 2005, and average inflation of 9.9% compared with 41% over 20 years ago, due in part to economic reform and business climate improvements undertaken by African governments to spur the private sector. Through the AU and NEPAD, regionally, and in many individual countries, Africa is taking the lead in tackling its own economic and social challenges.


  3. But, notwithstanding the progress that has been made, there is much to do by both Africa and the G8. If the people of Africa are to see lasting improvement then conflict and corruption must be overcome and support from the G8 must be sustained and made more effective. The scale of the challenges faced by Africa is evidenced in the UN review of progress against the Millennium Goals. Africa is the region least likely to achieve the Millennium Goals. This situation is intolerable.Over two thousand children under the age of five die every day from malaria1; 2.3 million people died in 2004 from AIDS2; Over 250 million do not have access to safe drinking water3; and over 40 million4 children are still not in school. The effects of conflict in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and Uganda result in tens of thousands of people dying each month, and millions are still displaced.


  4. Without much faster progress, by 2015, 247 million people will still live on less than US$1 a day and 45 million children will have died.5 Unless more concerted and effective action is taken, HIV and AIDS will claim even more lives, and will continue to undermine the political, economic and social fabric of many African societies. Overcoming these challenges will not be easy, but the international response to the Asian tsunami, where millions of lives were devastated in a few moments, shows what is possible. That response was generated by a spirit of compassion. Our action in response to the millions of preventable deaths in Africa, which is motivated by our commitment to human decency and justice, is action over the longer term, but should have the same urgency.


  5. The G8, in partnership with Africa, has made some progress on the Africa Action Plan, but as Africa continues to face numerous challenges, more is needed. In some areas, such as addressing conflict, the G8 has shown a real commitment to supporting African efforts. Collectively, G8 members have more than doubled assistance since 2001 and further significant commitments on ODA volumes have been made this year. A number of new initiatives have been started and are described in this report, and the individual progress reports of G8 members. However, there are areas where progress has been slower. Progress has been made in support for capacity building in trade, but we need to work towards the objectives agreed for the Doha Development Round. As the Paris High Level Forum has shown, we need to take further steps to improve the effectiveness of our aid, to support African ownership and priorities, to reduce the burden on African Governments, to provide more predictable, annual or multi-year commitments of aid, as set out in the Paris Declaration.We have to build deeper partnerships more clearly in support of African priorities and reinforce efforts to counter the debilitating scourge of AIDS.


  6. The Africa Action Plan set out a vision of a new partnership between the G8 and Africa, based on mutual accountability and respect. Since 2002, there have been initiatives to develop the idea of mutual accountability beyond the Africa Action Plan progress reports, such as through the work by UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) on the Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness. Peer Reviews of governance in Africa and of development policies in industrialised countries take place through the APRM and the OECD. These arrangements provide the basis for strengthening the dialogue. A strengthened Africa Partnership Forum should be the political mechanism for monitoring commitments made.


  7. We shared our initial assessments with NEPAD. They agreed the picture is mixed. Undoubtedly there has been a positive response and many constructive actions have been taken but more needs to be done. In particular, they felt the G8 need to translate commitments more quickly into action, to take more practical steps to improve aid effectiveness and co-ordination, and reduce the burden of separate conditionalities, processes and requirements. NEPAD would like to see greater focus on G8 support for regional and sub-regional institutions as the fundamental building block for the African Union, and more support to help them deliver NEPAD’s Programmes of Action, especially in the key sectors of infrastructure and agriculture.


  8. Evidence of best practice continues to grow.We can make faster progress. A coherent and comprehensive approach, with action on resources, trade, conflict, improving capacity and governance is needed.We should enhance partnerships with more countries that are following the vision that NEPAD set out, and which have the capacity to make more progress quickly.We therefore conclude with suggestions on where greater and more effective action is needed if the vision of our partnership with Africa is to be fulfilled.

Footnotes:
  1. WHO 2005 report to the World Health Assembly on Malaria
  2. UNAIDS AIDS Epidemic Update 2004
  3. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water and Sanitation 2005
  4. Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2005
  5. “Investing in People” The Millennium Project Report January 2005


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