Kofi Annan, speaking on behalf of the Africa Progress Panel (APP) has expressed concern as to reports that the German Finance Minister, Peer Steinbruck, in line with tightening economic pressures has decided to force further budget cuts, including those relating to its G8 promises.
Speaking from Geneva, Mr Annan, praised Germany for its achievements to-date highlighting that it has shown admirable commitment to Africa, particularly on the pertinent and sensitive issue of HIV/Aids, whilst highlighting his apprehension at the potential impact on its pledge.
“Chancellor Angela Merkel has shown considerable dedication to Africa and the global development agenda, and has tirelessly supported the APP’s aim” but he reinforced that “the only promises that matter are those that are kept” and that any deviation from this would erode the global partnership for development and be treated with great concern.
Mr Annan also took the opportunity to emphasise the importance of all world leaders standing firm to maintain their commitment and support to Africa's progress. “We cannot risk cutting back on our commitments to the world’s poor at a time when climate change and rising food prices threaten to reverse the gains made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals”, he said.
The Panel was set up by Mr Tony Blair in 2007 and its members include Michel Camdessus, Peter Eigen, Bob Geldof, Graça Machel, Bob Rubin, Tidjane Thiam, Linah Mohohlo and Muhammad Yunus. The Panel’s remit going forward is to continue its focus on areas which include positively changing the African donor environment, private sector as well as trade and climate.