Wednesday, July 06, 2005

G8 & Africa take the news.

Today's Globe & Mail newspaper had six articles/editorials concerning the G8 summit and what each writer believes this gathering will actually produce at the end of the day.

Front Page: Stephen Lewis, United Nations envoy on AIDS in Africa, tells it as it is when he calls the bluff of the US in providing $25 billion in annual aid to Africa in five years. The US places heavy conditions on recipients of aid (see next post) and thus Lewis believes the US will have a shortfall of the goal.

Page A12: Canada's commitment of $2.8 billion by 2008: how to disburse fund - to specific projects or to the government? Pros of giving to government: bilateral relief allows countries capacity to rebuild their schools and clinics from a national level. Cons: misuse of funds when no conditions are set. Monitoring funds becomes difficult.

Third article on World Bank president, Paul Wolfowitz, asking for "an integrated approach" to poverty alleviation: aid is only one piece to other components that will assist African nations at fighting corruption, opening private sector investments, lowering barriers to trade, etc.

Editorial page has Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the UN asking the G8 leaders to look at peace and security, a global strategy to secure a respect for human dignity.

Another article of how Paul Martin wants to expand the G8 to the L20, leaders' summit of 20 countries. Effective or not?

Finally, an article again about corruption of foreign aid to African countries. Honesty and good management - good governance through NEPAD, the New Partnership for African's Development - should be demanded before taxpayer cash is given. So is a set of good system and controls. Thanks Live 8 for finally putting some international news/debate in our national paper.

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