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Published 4th March 2005

Vol 46 No 5


The Blair report - unveiled

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.


All about the jobs

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...


Faure falters

Round one to the African Union; the next battle will be presidential elections

Faure Gnassingbé's resignation as acting Head of State on 26 February is a provisional victory for both Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo, Chairman of the African Union,...


Power to the party

The President-elect must balance his predecessor's weight against his party's mood

Hifikepunye Pohamba's mandate seemed clear when the 15-16 November presidential election awarded him 76 per cent of the vote. But it is not that simple. First, the outgoing Preside...


Reform on the rack

Time is running out for President Obasanjo's team to make a lasting difference

President Olusegun Obasanjo and his team of economic reformers face a moment of truth this year. A long list of economic reforms on state accountability and the structure of the oi...



Pointers

Belgium's bullet points

Tanzania is getting a new ammunition factory thanks to George Forrest International, a firm whose eponymous main shareholder has big interests in Congo-Kinshasa and has told United...


Emotional stress

Since last year's muddled coup attempt involving British citizens (including Sir Mark Thatcher), Britain's relations with Equatorial Guinea have been cool. President Teodoro Obiang...


IMF reprieve

An International Monetary Fund mission to Kinshasa in mid-February led by Cyrille Briançon is to give the government a pass-mark and recommend that the final tranche of its ...