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Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 22:08 GMT 23:08 UK
G8 agrees Africa action plan
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo with G8 leaders
African leaders welcomed the G8 response
Leaders of the world's richest nations have signed an agreement with four African heads of state to promote economic and political development.

The agreement includes support for a military intervention force and a commitment to eradicate polio, but observers say it will not satisfy aid agencies or campaigners for debt relief.

This is not old fashioned aid, it is a genuine partnership for the renewal of Africa

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair

The G8 plan is in response to an initiative by African nations called the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad).

Nepad would involve African nations committing themselves to reforms in return for aid, trade opportunities and help in resolving conflicts.

The G8 Africa Action Plan promises benefits for African countries "whose performance reflects the Nepad commitments".

The plan's main points are:

  • An agreement to develop a plan for a peacekeeping force in Africa.

  • A promise to get rid of polio in Africa by 2005.

  • A commitment to improve global market access for African exports by tackling trade barriers and farm subsidies by 2005.

  • An offer to work towards spending half or more of the G8's annual new development aid - about $6bn - on African nations that govern justly.

    The BBC's Mark Mardell, in Calgary, says the military regional intervention force would be formed by African countries with G8 backing.

    Its aim would be to stop wars and civil wars which are preventing development in parts of the continent.

    They are offering peanuts to Africa - and repackaged peanuts at that

    Phil Twyford, Oxfam

    Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, hosting the summit in the Rocky Mountain resort of Kananaskis, said: "Today we have a deal and a deal that represents a new beginning and fresh hope for the African continent."

    President Olusegun Obasanjo, of Nigeria, who helped to create the Nepad initiative, said he was satisfied with the agreement, which came of the second and final day of the summit.

    But he added: "Of course, there is nothing that is human that can be regarded as perfect".

    African leaders were invited to the summit to present details of Nepad. Other leaders supporting it are Presidents Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal.

    Launch new window : An unequal world
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    Mr Chretien failed to get a firm commitment to give a portion of the G8's $12bn a year in new aid promised by the US and European Union at a UN conference in March.

    On the first day of the summit, G8 leaders agreed to increase debt relief for poorest countries by $1bn.

    However, aid agencies said the relief programme would barely make up for the fall in commodity prices such as coffee and cotton on which many developing nations' economies are reliant.

    Other summit developments:

  • It was announced that Russia would host the 2006 G8 Summit, by which time it would have become a full member, a move seen as a boost for President Vladimir Putin.

    Presidents Bush and Chirac during Thursday morning session
    The leaders earlier failed to unite over the Middle East

  • The leaders agreed to a set of "co-operative" actions to promote greater security of land, sea and air transport" including strengthening cockpit doors, installing automatic identification systems on ships and improving global container shipping security.

  • An agreement was reached for a $20bn package over 10 years to dismantle Russia's stockpiles of military plutonium and protect them from terrorists.

  • There was no agreement on how to handle the Middle East crisis.

  • Leaders said they were concerned at the prospects for global financial markets in the wake of another accounting scandal hitting a US giant - this time telecom giant WorldCom.

    Canada has mounted its largest peacetime security operation for the summit.

    Demonstrators, barred from the mountain retreat, chanted and banged drums in marches in Calgary, some 55 miles (90km) away and in a rain-drenched Canadian capital, Ottawa.

    The BBC's Bridget Kendall
    "The new G8 action plan for Africa is long on detail and short on concrete pledges"
    Christian Aid's Andrew Pendleton
    "I think people in Africa are going to be quite disappointed"
    Debt relief campaigner Bob Geldof
    "It's all unravelled into this meaningless conference"

    Key stories

    Aid debate

    Africa's future





    See also:

    28 Jun 02 | Africa
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