On the day this edition of ANC TODAY is published, a delegation of African Heads of State and Government will meet with its G8 counterparts at the Heiligendamm, Germany Annual Summit Meeting of the G8. The African delegation will be led by the Current Chairperson of the African Union, President John Kuffuor of Ghana, and the new Chairperson of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.
This will be the eighth meeting of this kind, the first having taken place in Tokyo on the eve of the 2000 G8 Summit Meeting in Okinawa, Japan, the year before the adoption of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) at the Lusaka, Zambia OAU Summit Meeting in 2001.
At the Tokyo meeting, the African leaders informed the G8 that the OAU would prepare a continental development plan, and would request the developed world to restructure its economic relations with Africa to respond to the OAU plan. Accordingly it was agreed that further interaction between African representatives and the G8 would take place during the 2001 G8 Summit Meeting in Genoa, Italy.
At the Genoa meeting, during which the African representatives presented what became the NEPAD programme, it was decided that the G8 would prepare its response, which would be considered at the next G8 Summit Meeting in 2002, and which was held in Kananaskis, Canada in 2002.
Thanks in good measure to the inclusive preparatory work done by the then Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chretien, the 2002 G8 Summit Meeting adopted the G8 Africa Action Plan which remains, to this day, the base G8 document that should guide the G8 in its interaction with the NEPAD process.