The Africa Commission will call on rich countries to double
aid budgets and open their markets immediately
Africa Confidential has obtained a copy of a final draft of the Commission for Africa report, due to be launched amid fanfare in London on 11 March 2005 by British Prime Minister Tony Blair
. The report, ranging from governance and corruption to arms control and trade, lists recommendations that Britain hopes will galvanise international action to tackle poverty in Africa. However, its analysis and recommendations offer little new thinking on African development; hardly surprising, given that the report has emerged after just three plenary sessions of the 17 commissioners (see Box) and limited consultations. The key role of the 'Blair Commission', originally suggested by Irish rock singer Bob Geldof, will be to proselytise for Africa, and work as a briefing paper for the Group of 8 Summit to be hosted by Britain at Gleneagles, Scotland on 6-8 July. But there remain huge questions about Britain's ability to extract commitments on aid and trade reform from its fellow G8 members.
The Africa Commission comprises 17 Commissioners including Prime Minister Tony Blair; Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown; International Development Minister Hilary Benn; Sout...
The budget boosts public spending and reduces taxes but cutting
unemployment will be the key test
Finance Minister Trevor Manuel's budget offered a generous formula for fuelling growth and cutting taxes without letting inflation rip. He called it 'More for all': a balancing act...