The APP Secretariat has issued the following statement in response to the G8 Summit held in Deauville, France.
The Africa Progress Panel has been closely following this year’s G8 activities and welcomes the focus on Africa that the Deauville Summit maintained. We were assured by President Sarkozy in February 2011 that Africa would be on the G8’s agenda throughout the French Presidency, and we are pleased to see the renewed commitment to and continued partnership with Africa expressed by the G8 at Deauville, including in the G8 Declaration (Renewed Commitment for Freedom and Democracy) and the G8/Africa Joint Declaration (Shared Values, Shared Responsibilities). We also welcome the G8’s emphasis on “mutual accountability, with a strong focus on results”.
In response to the Deauville Summit, the APP agrees that the focus on freedom and democracy is both very timely and highly relevant. In particular, the APP is concerned with how these issues relate to governance and development in Africa and in that respect, we welcome the G8’s commitment to Egypt and Tunisia of up to $20 billion in 2011-2013 from multilateral development banks "in support of suitable reform efforts", including 3.5 billion euros ($4.9 billion) from the European Investment Bank. We hope this promise is followed through transparently and tracked effectively.
On the global economy, the APP has long argued that Africa must be seen as part of the solution. We welcome the G8’s recognition that development is “a common challenge” and the joint statement’s acknowledgement that “the challenge today is to build on the current and positive dynamic of the African economy to achieve a more inclusive, shared and sustainable growth that creates jobs, ensures human security and empowers individuals, especially the younger generation.” The APP believes that the fundamentals required to meet this challenge are, first, to provide Africa with a level-playing field, and second, to ensure that the Doha Development Round is concluded. We are encouraged by the G8’s reiteration of its “commitment to advance the process of trade liberalization and rule-making to strengthen the multilateral system”, and we hope to see concrete action in that direction. The G8 members can and must work to build momentum behind these vital changes.
On Official Development Assistance (ODA), the APP agrees that “ODA is a significant element of financing for development, among other resources, particularly domestic resources, innovative financing, remittances, market instruments used by development banks and private sector flows,” and welcomes the G8’s commitment to “strive to maintain our efforts” on ODA. However, despite an overall increase in the total volume of aid delivered to Africa, only 62% of the 2005 Gleneagles commitments have been collectively delivered to date. The G8 has not yet delivered on its pledges and as long as these unfulfilled promises persist, the credibility of such commitments will be in doubt.
On food security, the APP appreciates President Sarkozy’s decision to keep this issue on the table during the French G8 Presidency, but it is vital that the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative commitments made in 2009 are met. G8 countries and others have pledged to mobilise more than $20 billion over three years. To date, according to the Deauville Accountability Report, only half these pledges have been delivered. Once again, it is imperative that the G8 countries honour their commitments. People’s lives depend on it, and if they fail, the legitimacy of the G8 as a global player will be further questioned.
Holding the G8 countries to account for their commitments remains imperative. The Deauville Accountability Report, released on 18 May, which closely tracks delivery against health and food security commitments, is a step in the right direction. However, the APP joins the G8 in acknowledging that more can be done to increase effectiveness and accountability. The G8 countries must do more in future to provide clear, measurable and realistic commitments. The continuing confusion and debate around the exact calculation of aid figures does little to help solve development problems on the ground – and better measurement can put an end to those debates.
For accountability measures to work and reach the solid credibility they require, all key stakeholders should be involved. Involving key civil society players through an open consultation process would be a strong starting point. The APP realizes that processes that lead to greater accountability are complex, but that should not be an excuse for inaction. As we stated in the Africa Progress Report 2011, partnerships hold real potential to contribute to these processes. The G8 as a grouping, and each individual country, can play a crucial role in establishing successful partnerships that ensure greater accountability and mutual responsibility.
Partnerships, mutual accountability and shared responsibility are at the heart of the G8’s agenda and modus operandi. It is clear that global development goals will only be achieved through partnership. Working in partnership is a means not only to accelerate development, but also to bring in new or non-traditional development actors, leverage comparative advantages, and draw on fresh knowledge and outside resources.
This is the reason we welcome the G8-African leaders’ joint Deauville statement - the first of its kind - and celebrate the G8’s stated intent to work towards a “renewed a strong partnership with Africa”. The APP is pleased to see the support pledged in the G8/Africa joint Declaration for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and believes that strengthening initiatives that promote development, such as EITI, will constitute important steps to effectively consolidate a new G8/Africa Partnership. We hope that this partnership does not end with this declaration, and that, in recognizing the need to intensify “efforts on drivers for economic growth, including human capital development, regional and global trade integration, business environment, domestic resources mobilization, and scaling up access to infrastructures and related services”, the G8, together with African leaders, take the necessary measures to spur concrete action.
The Panel is hopeful that the United States will continue to develop and build the G8’s partnership with Africa as it takes on the next G8 Presidency – driving the group to meet all its commitments and ensuring concrete action follows from the promises made last week at Deauville.