When G8 development cooperation ministers meet later this week in Windsor they can go a long way towards reversing the failure of the recent Kananaskis meeting by making good on Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s proposal to set aside significant aid dollars for African development.
Africa “‘s development was the main G8 agenda item when world leaders met earlier this summer in Kananaskis. Unfortunately Chrétien’s proposal, which would have seen donor countries commit over $6 billion to Africa, failed to get consensus. “We’re calling on the development cooperation ministers to pick up the ball,” says Gerry Barr, President and CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation. “This Windsor meeting is the opportunity for G8 countries to commit the funds needed if we are to take their talk about African development seriously.” NGOs are also looking for clear signals that the G8 ministers will reject development practices that have been shown to be ineffective and in some cases have contributed to poverty.
The $6 billion should be devoted exclusively to poverty eradication goals and Africans must have a say in how the money is spent. African countries must be allowed to pursue their own development paths and not be constricted by donor conditions. As Gerry Barr notes, “The purpose of aid is poverty eradication not donor country private sector enrichment.” The September 26-27 meeting will be the first time that development cooperation ministers gather for a dedicated G8 meeting.
For more information contact:
Katia Gianneschi, Media Relations
Canadian Council for International Co-operation
(613) 241-7007 ext. 311 email@example.com
* Briefing notes on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and recent trends in Canadian economic relations with sub-Saharan Africa are available on request.