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Vol 46 No 10

Published 13th May 2005

The big push comes to shove

Whitehall's sweeping African aid and trade agenda isn't winning enough friends to change policies

Two months ahead of the Group of Eight (G8) summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, Britain is making little headway in winning support for its agenda for Africa - the 'big push' laid out in the Commission for Africa report (AC Vol 46 No 4). The case for the big push - also made in Jeffrey Sachs's United Nations' task force report is that only a massive and sustained transfer of resources to poor countries can launch the economic growth they need. Yet the other members of the G8's rich-country club are chary of massive new aid commitments to Africa called for by the Commission: initially a doubling of aid to US$25 billion a year over the next three to five years, then another doubling after a review in 2010, by which time most of the subscribing governments will be out of office.

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