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Africa: drivers of change [WP813]

With the British presidency of the G8 and of the European Union coinciding in 2005, there was a unique opportunity for concerted action on the Africa and development agendas.

In preparation for these meetings, the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, established the Commission for Africa to review the ‘state of the continent’. One in nine of seventeen Commissioners were African.

In order of overcome the scepticism concerning ‘yet another Commission’, the Prime Minister insisted that the representation should be current leaders, rather than those who have retired – as is often the case with prestigious Commissions.

Considerable diplomatic effort went into ensuring that the African Union and New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) were fully on board.

This conference discussed the following points:

  • Did the 2005 G8 meeting and the Africa Commission make a significant difference?
  • Have African institutions addressed the challenges of governance?
  • Can Africa and the international community create the economic climate for growth and poverty eradication?
  • What policies are needed to move beyond violent conflict between and within countries?
  • What are the next steps which must be taken?

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