Africa: Chief Executive outlines the direction for Wilton Park ahead of UN Summitedit
We are embarking on a range of new initiatives to raise the profile of our Africa work, as well as coordinating this with policy on the Millennium Development Goals and the future of the Commonwealth.
Richard Burge, Chief Executive, says:
“The commitment of the Government to ensure that Africa is accorded its place in international affairs gives us a very positive challenge. Recent Wilton Park discussions on Africa and also on the Commonwealth have demonstrated the link between the Government strategy and our future programme. My own recent visit to South Africa has shown that there is great scope for intensifying Wilton Park’s global reach. I want us to develop a global network of key partners in major countries as China, India, Brazil and South Africa. It is about African opportunities, not African problems. Many of the economies in Africa regularly grow at 5% per annum or more. Trade, investment, skills and business represent Africa’s future and there are real chances to make this work.”
Earlier in the year, as part of the evaluation of progress in Africa, we coordinated a major conference. Speakers included influential African leaders and analysts, as well as Andrew Mitchell MP, now Secretary of State for International Development. This was an early stage in the production of a new report by the Commission for Africa entitled, Still Our Common Interest. It has assessed what still needs to be done for Africa to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is timed for the UN MDG Summit in New York (20-22 September 2010). The process of assembling evidence and producing the report was driven by Myles Wickstead, former head of the Commission secretariat and a serving member of the Wilton Park Advisory Council.
Conference on Future of the UN development system
Conference on Africa 2010: the key challenges