UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
Africa: Call to Reverse Slide in Aid Date distributed (ymd): 011220 Document reposted by APIC
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Region: Continent-Wide Issue Areas: +economy/development+ +security/peace+
This posting contains a press release from the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and brief excerpts from the Millennium Lecture given in London by ECA Executive Secretary K. Y. Amoako. Dr. Amoako's appeal for greater international public investment to support Africa's development has been echoed by British leaders, but has gained little response from the U.S.
The ECA web site also has available the text of "The
New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD),"
the latest version of a policy document emerging from
consultations among African leaders. Documents from
a Partnership Africa Canada Consultation on "Africa
and the G8: A Civil Society Planning Meeting,"
containing analyses of an earlier version of NEPAD,
can be found on the PAC web site (http://www.partnershipafricacanada.org).
A strong critique of NEPAD as marred by African submission
to Western market ideology can be found in the editorial
by Patrick Bond in Kabissa-Fahamu-Sangonet Newsletter
Economic Commission for Africa
ECA Press Release No. 13/2001, December 17, 2001
G8 MUST MOVE TO REVERSE THE SLIDE IN AID TO AFRICA - AMOAKO
For more information or for the full text of Mr. Amoako's address, please contact Peter da Costa on Tel: +44-7880-634-392, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The text can also be downloaded from the 'What's New' Section of the ECA Web site, at http://www.uneca.org
Addis Ababa, 17 December 2001 (ECA) - The G8 group of developed countries need to develop a holistic response that can reverse the slide in aid to Africa, Economic Commission for Africa Executive Secretary K. Y. Amoako said today.
Speaking to an audience that included British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Secretary for International Development Claire Short and other leading UK policymakers, Mr. Amoako said that collectively the G-8's record in development assistance to Africa in the past decade had been less than impressive.
Mr. Amoako's address, titled "Fulfilling Africa's Promise", was the latest in a series of lectures launched to mark the new Millennium and hosted by the Prime Minister and Mrs. Blair. The Millennium Lectures are delivered in Downing Street to an audience of specialists and opinion formers, but they are intended to spark debate much further afield. This is the first Millennium Lecture devoted to Africa.
Mr. Amoako told the audience that overall aid to Africa has declined from $19 billion a year at the beginning of the 1990s to $12 billion today, a per capita drop of 40%. In the same period, Africa's share of global aid had dropped from 37% to 27% at a time when the quality of Africa's development had improved. "Shouldn't better performance be better recognized?" he asked.
In the context of the G8's response to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and in anticipation of the next G8 Summit in Canada in 2002, Mr. Amoako called on the Group to come up with a proposal for support that contained specific, time-bound deliverables, towards three desirable ends: achieving the International Development Goals, accelerating the process of rationalization, and fostering peace and reconstruction.
In his address, the ECA Executive Secretary talked about a paradigm shift in Africa's relations with its international development partners, which had emerged from new thinking by many of Africa's leaders, from ideas of civil society organizations, and from ECA's work. All the ideas, he said, were crystallized in the NEPAD.
Among key elements of the new paradigm, Mr. Amoako cited:
- African leadership and ownership of its policies and programmes, requiring good governance, a capable state with effective institutions, sound economic management and the participation of all sectors of society;
- A transformed development partnership, manifested by a joint commitment to commonly agreed development goals, and mutual accountability in progress towards these goals - moving away from the past donor-imposed conditionalities and towards self-monitoring and peer review among Africans;
- Long-term predictable partnerships underpinned by guaranteed long-term, timely, stable and high quality resource flows to countries that have a clear commitment to these shared goals; and
- Enhanced partnership with countries that will be the forerunners of Africa's transition from high aid dependency to a more robust development path led by the private sector, countries that can "become beacons of excellence, models for their neighbours to emulate, and engines of regional economic growth";
There were "strong moral reasons" as well as "compelling reasons of common interest" for Africa's international development partners to buy into the new paradigm, stressed Mr. Amoako.
Resource mobilization was key, particularly on the domestic front, to financing Africa's development. "We know the levels of resources needed to make the difference in reducing poverty," said Mr. Amoako. "But most major donors have failed to meet the goal of 0.7% of GNP for aid. And the overall level is now just 0.22%, the lowest since the Marshall Plan of the 1940s. Gordon Brown's appeal for doubling aid -- from 50 billion dollars to 100 billion dollars -- is well justified, towards meeting the target of 0.7% GNP. I hope that we can accelerate this with clear benchmarks for progress in the next five years."
Mr. Amoako stressed that there was also a need for the 2002 UN Financing for Development Conference to address the financing problems of Africa's most indebted countries, and made a number of proposals in this regard:
- For countries emerging from conflict or past misrule, consideration should be given to a programme to provide debt relief on achievable terms for three years;
- A way could be found to marry debt relief and funding African peacekeeping;
- A moratorium could be allowed of one or two years for countries vulnerable to commodity price fluctuations when their income falls below a certain level;
- A "pot of gold" could be provided at the end of the HIPC rainbow in expanded relief -- or forgiveness -- at the end of five years of good performance.
- A certain percentage of debt payments could be redirected to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
FULFILLING AFRICA'S PROMISE
Millennium Lecture by K. Y. Amoako, Executive Secretary of Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
10 Downing Street, London, 17 December 2001
Sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, has a per capita income of $326, about one seventy-fifth of yours. That leaves four of every 10 Africans living in extreme poverty on less than $1 a day. Fourteen years ago, about 200 million Africans lived in such poverty. Today, 100 million more have joined them.
... While the world cuts the proportion of people in poverty from 22% today to 11% in 2015, Africa will likely be stuck at around 37%-more than three times the global average. ...
People often define our development crisis by the growing income gap between Africa and the world. I will be more fundamental. Our current life span of a mere 50 years will decline between now and 2015, because of growing poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Your average life span, now more than 75 years, will grow longer. Equal opportunity must start with the equal opportunity to live.
2. A brighter future for Africa
A new generation of Africans finds these trends intolerable. ...
Now, with the convergence of new progressive forces, of frustration with so little progress, of revulsion for power with selfish ends, there are mounting-even angry-demands for development that works for the people. The demands are for peace. For reducing poverty through growth and solid public services. For accountable, uncorrupted governments. The demands are also for a viable future for the unemployed and the young. And for inclusion in a progressive world. There is momentum on all these fronts-but far from enough. ...
4. A new paradigm for development cooperation
Over the past few years, some exciting partnership concepts have been proposed by a number of us in Africa. Together, they imply a paradigm shift in Africa's relations with its international development partners. They emerge from different processes-from the new thinking by many of Africa's leaders, from the ideas of civil society organisations, from our work at the ECA. And they are crystallized in the New Partnership for Africa's Development.
Experience shows that Africans must lead Africa out of poverty, and that the most effective policies and programmes are those based on domestic processes of consultation and decisionmaking. That requires good governance: a capable state with effective institutions, sound economic management, and the participation of all sectors of society.
At the heart of our new paradigm is a transformed development partnership. We seek a joint commitment to commonly agreed development goals, and mutual accountability in progress towards those goals. This moves us away from the past model of donor-imposed conditionalities-and towards self-monitoring and peer review among Africans.
Another part of this new paradigm is having long-term predictable partnerships underpinned by guaranteed long-term resource flows to countries that have a clear commitment to these shared goals-flows that are timely, stable, and high in quality. The best quality assistance is harmonized, predictable, and integrated within national poverty reduction strategies, with low transaction costs.
This enhanced partnership entails supporting countries that will be the forerunners of Africa's transition from high aid dependency to a more robust development path led by the private sector. We must let such countries become beacons of excellence, models for their neighbours to emulate, and engines of regional economic growth.
But we cannot ignore those countries not doing so well. Different treatment is required for those countries struggling to emerge from past mismanagement. We must move them steadily towards the point where they can benefit from the new enhanced partnership. Other countries are recovering from conflict, and we need to identify and implement means of ensuring the success of their post-conflict reconstruction plans.
I also commend giving more consideration to the breadth of partnership. Too often donors have based their relationships on a charismatic leader. But I think that long-lasting partnerships require a broader base, involving many constituencies. We have a joint interest in building pluralism as a cornerstone of stability, accountability, and more balanced growth. ...
If broader relationships and capacity building are needed for countries, they are also needed for the region. ... Yet, some donors have trouble helping us solve regional and subregional problems. They have difficulty assisting supra-national organisations and cross-border infrastructure because they justify and score their funds on a national basis. I hope that future partnerships will transcend this problem. ...
We in Africa are grateful that you, Prime Minister, kept Africa firmly on the international agenda in the aftermath of September 11, when the new global agenda could so easily have focused solely on the international coalition's war on terrorism. Poverty and conflict breed frustration and alienation, the seeds of terrorism. Our quest for stability and growth in Africa can thus enhance international peace and security.
5. Advancing the partnership
The upcoming international calendar provides opportunities to bring the international community along in meeting the challenges I have mentioned. The first opportunity is to see that there is quick follow-up to the trade meeting in Doha-to maintain the pro-development momentum you helped establish there. There is a need for real capacity-building to prepare most of Africa to engage in trade and to be productive in trade negotiations.
The issues are complex, and there are few technical studies on the potential impact of new obligations for our economies. That is why Africa and other developing countries expressed strong reservations at Doha about launching a new round of multilateral trade negotiations that will encompass these new and complex issues. Comprehensive impact studies are essential if we are to commit to agreements, which in the words of Tanzania's Trade Minister Mr. Idda Simba, are "matters of life and death for us." ...
There is also a critical need to further open OECD markets to African products, particularly in agriculture. A decline of 40% in Europe's agricultural subsidies by 2005 would produce annual gains of $15 billion for developing countries and $55 billion for Europe's consumers. A similar adjustment in fisheries policies would be a major boon to both Africa and Europe.
The second opportunity is the UN's Financing for Development Conference in Monterey next March. As Chancellor Brown's speech emphasised last month to the New York Federal Reserve, major resource mobilisation is essential. At the core of this is greater domestic resource mobilisation, by far the largest source of development finance, through better domestic policy environments, the sine qua non for greater external finance.
We know the levels of resources needed to make the difference in reducing poverty. But most major donors have failed to meet the goal of 0.7% of GNP for aid. And the overall level is now just 0.22%, the lowest since the Marshall Plan of the 1940s. Gordon Brown's appeal for doubling aid-from 50 billion dollars to 100 billion dollars-is well justified, towards meeting the target of 0.7% GNP. ...
There is also a need for the Financing for Development Conference to address the financing problems of Africa's most indebted countries. If we want to make a bigger dent in Africa's debt, we need to put our minds together to think "out of the box." Let me take a first step out of that box:
* For countries emerging from conflict or past misrule, we should perhaps consider a programme that would provide debt relief on achievable terms for three years.
* Perhaps we could find a way to marry debt relief and funding African peacekeeping.
* Perhaps we could allow for a moratorium of one or two years for countries vulnerable to commodity price fluctuations when their income falls below a certain level.
* Perhaps we could provide a pot of gold at the end of the HIPC rainbow by providing expanded relief-or forgiveness-at the end of five years of good performance.
* Perhaps a certain percentage of debt payments could be redirected to the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The third big opportunity will be the next meeting of the G-8 in Canada.
With a focus on Africa, the G-8 is expected to respond to the New Partnership for Africa's Development. The response could usefully buttress three desirable ends: achieving the International Development Goals, accelerating the process of regionalisation, and fostering peace and reconstruction. There is also an opportunity for the G-8 to move from segmented discussions of Africa's development to a more holistic response. That might include periodic leadership dialogues between the G-8 and Africa.
What is needed is to come up with something concrete by the end of next year-with specific, time-bound deliverables. We very much hope that the G-8 can sharply reverse the slide in aid to Africa. Collectively, the G-8's record in development assistance to Africa in the past decade has not been impressive. Overall aid to Africa has declined from $19 billion a year at the beginning of the 90s to $12 billion now, a per capita drop of 40%. In the same period, our share of global aid has dropped from 37% to 27% - this, when the quality of Africa's development has improved. Shouldn't better performance be better recognised? ...
The fourth event on the calendar is the Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Development-scheduled (significantly) to end on September 11, 2002. As a follow-up to the Rio Earth Summit 10 years before, the event should be a chance to arrive at more comprehensive commitments across many of our common concerns to make a more secure world. The conference may well represent a shift from Rio's more purely environmental focus to issues of sustainability. ...
All this requires international cooperation on a large scale. Consider the links between health and sustainable development. In a few days, Gro Harlem Bruntdtland's Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, led by Jeffrey Sachs, will release its final report here in London. I have been privileged to serve on that Commission.
The report will emphasize strong connections between investing in health and achieving sustainable development. It recommends quantum increases in health investments, and for low-income Sub-Saharan Africa the increases would be far higher than for any other region. Dramatic expansions of health services in Africa will require strong partnerships if they are to be achieved.
I have covered a lot of ground, identifying what I believe to be the key challenges for Africa-and the key elements of a new development partnership for Africa. In summing up, I should like to spotlight five areas where we need to collectively come up with time-bound deliverables and generate momentum for sustained progress. ...
* First, we must promote good governance in both the political and economic spheres. This includes strengthening financial management, building the capacities of parliaments and judiciaries, and rooting out corruption.
* Next, we must address our regional peace and security needs. This requires coordinated action by the United Nations, OAU, and subregional organisations, backed by well-implemented programmes for post-conflict rehabilitation.
* Third is to invest in human capital at all levels-from basic literacy upwards. We must support the application of ICTs to health and development. We must strengthen regional centres of excellence in science and technology. And we must tackle the diseases of poverty, especially HIV/AIDS.
* Fourth, we must target farmers. We need to support agriculture with more effective institutions for micro-finance and rural infrastructure. And let's not forget that most farming in Africa is done by women.
* Last and most critical, we must jointly secure adequate financing for development by tackling what has been called the "new trinity of debt, aid, and trade." ...
Message-Id: <200112201416.JAA16403@server.africapolicy.org> From: "Africa Action" <email@example.com> Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 10:03:34 -0500 Subject: Africa: Call to Reverse Slide in Aid
Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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