bulletin of the AFRICA PROGRESS PANELVolume 4, Issue 17 — 27 October 2011
Africa Progress Panel
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What Cannes the G20 do for Africa?
Next week, the leaders of the G20 will meet in Cannes to discuss financial markets and the world economy. The summit leaders are expected to tackle several mid- and long-term policy issues, many of which remained unresolved at the end of the previous summits in Toronto and Seoul.
As the final program for the summit evolves, each G-20 nation will bring its own agenda to the summit. But what about the voice of 172 countries – accounting for over 60% of the world’s population – how can their voices be heard when they are not sitting at the table?
Early this year, members of the Africa Progress Panel met with President Sarkozy to urge him to put development at the heart of his G20 presidency. Last week, the Panel re-issued a booklet to reiterate their views on what the G20 can do to help Africa fulfill its vast promise. These include ensuring 1) work on development continues to be part of the G20’s regular agenda and 2) donor countries reaffirm their aid commitments and increase the effectiveness of their aid. Indeed, there is now a wide recognition that Africa is needed to help overall global recovery - aid therefore is no longer about charity. A significant shift in global relations is now in progress. In an interview with TV5, our Director, Caroline Kende-Robb, conveyed the Panel’s support of the French presidency efforts especially on innovative financing, infrastructure and food security.
The Africa Progress Panel calls for reform of the international architecture to allow Africa to compete on a level playing field, and have its voice heard. Despite progress made towards a more democratic and rules-based political culture, Africa continues to be hampered by its high rates of corruption –as a result of domestic factors, such as entrenched cronyism, nepotism-- and the rise of organized crime –as a result of the behavior of international companies, unscrupulous middlemen and weak institutions. A step in the right direction is the G20's proposed action plan against corruption, which seeks to tackle the international component of corruption in Africa. If its proposals are implemented and enforced by all G20 nations, the G20 will have changed the game in fighting corruption and proved its worth as the new forum for effective global action. The APP’s Peter Eigen argues that, “by pushing for swift action, the G20 has the chance to send an unmistakable signal of support to the continent's people and prove its worth as an effective instigator of global action.”
The Panel is urging the G20 to foster shared interest and encourage purposeful action for Africa’s progress. Kofi Annan says, each member of the G20 needs to live up to its own development commitment and begin to treat Africa as a true partner – “they know that they need to help Africa succeed if they are to keep succeeding themselves.”
Supporting Africa is not just a moral imperative, but a strategic imperative
- Bono, Co-founder of ONE
- Conflict and abuse continues to plague Eastern Congo as it gears up for multi-party elections on 27 November 2011, only the second of its kind since the country gained independence some fifty years ago. While high expectations surround the event, civil society organizations say the elections will not be fair, as many doubt the ability of the country’s electoral authorities to ensure transparency.
- Libya’s National Transitional Council declares full liberation and plans to chart a future for their country after a 42-year reign of the late leader Ghaddafi. Prime Minister Mahm-oud Jibril states that the priority now ‘is on removing weapons from Libya's streets, restoring stability and initiating a process of national reconciliation.’ Now that the cloud of dictatorship has been lifted and Gadaffi is gone, what next? Will divided Libya form a unified nation? What does this mean for other African countries?
- Nine months after their revolution toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's regime, the Tunisian people exercised their right to freely choose an assembly that will oversee their country's political transition, draft their country's new constitution and appoint an interim president, who will then choose the next Tunisian government.- An important milestone on the Tunisian people's path from dictatorship to a democratic government. Just as protests in Tunisia led the Arab spring, it is expected that its elections can show other Arab nations the way to true democracy.
- The Liberian National Elections Commission has declared ‘no winner’ for the 2011 presidential elections because none of the 16 presidential candidates obtained an absolute majority (50% +1 vote). However, a run-off election will be contested by the two candidates with the highest number of votes: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of the Unity Party and Winston A. Tubman of the Congress for Democratic Change.
- Somalia's president opposes Kenya's week-old military assault against Islamists in the south of his country, as attacks in Nairobi raises fears that the rebels are proceeding with their pledge to retaliate. Analysts warn that this military expedition will not only pose threats to regional security, it could worsen the plights of millions of food-insecure civilians and increase popular support for Islamist insurgents.
- Ethiopia, a country primarily viewed as a place of hunger, that was once the focus of a multimillion-dollar famine-relief effort is now home to a trading floor- the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) — that sold $1 billion in coffee, sesame, wheat, maize, peas and haricot beans last year.
- The AfDB agrees to provide €95m in support of Tunisia’s efforts to increase access to safe water in its rural areas
- AfDB approves funds totaling $124.3m to support new models of higher education in Mali, Uganda and Rwanda
- The AU calls for national reconciliation among all Libyans and reiterates its continued support for an inclusive government
- East African States plan to address security challenges threatening to undermine progress in the regional integration process
- IMF outlook for sub-Saharan Africa perceives good progress on growth and inclusiveness, but cautions on downside risks to global economy
- World population is projected to reach 7 billion- a milestone that raises challenges for a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for all
- FAO urges nations to address rising food costs, stressing that food price upswings threaten food security in developing countries
- UNAIDS is launching CrowdOutAIDS.org, an online collaborative project using crowd sourcing technologies and social media platforms to engage young people in developing AIDS policy—a first in the UN system
- The UN sets a goal of bringing broadband to half the people in the developing world by 2015
- An ITU-Mini report states that at least 2.3 billion people are now using internet and that the developing world’s share of the world’s total Internet users has grown from 44% to 62%
- The UN promotes regional efforts to combat the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Central Africa
- "The accounting infrastructure of a country is a critically important - and often overlooked - facilitator of economic development" says UNCTAD´s Deputy Secretary-General
- UNCTAD Global Investment Trends Monitor reports a 2% increase in global FDI inflows in the first half of 2011 compared with the previous half but that second-half prospects are gloomy
In the blogs...
- Huffington Post Blog: Budge up Bono and Bob - Bill's the big new activist for this G20, 25 Oct. 2011
Bill Gates will present his vision to the G20 leaders in Cannes on how to finance the fight against poverty. Amongst other things, he will call for a new partnership of revolutionary innovation between the developed world, the emerging powerhouses of the BRICS, the developing world and the private sector.
- ODI Blogs: Making life easier for good leaders, 21 Oct. 2011
Claire Melamed reflects on the key messages of Tony Blair's speech on leadership for development that was delivered at an ODI/AGI event.
- Reuters Africa Blog: Who among the seven longest serving African leaders will be deposed next? 21 Oct. 2011
The increase in uprisings against African regimes and the news of the death of Africa’s longest serving leader should send a strong message to the longest serving African leaders- they need to plan their ‘exit strategies’
- Development Initiatives Blog: Busan 2011- Aid Effectiveness has never been as important for Africa, 10 Oct. 2011
Author presents his thoughts on the forthcoming High-level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held in Busan, South Korea. The priorities and focus of the conference will be a major challenge as well as addressing the recurring question of “What needs to be done in order to make aid more effective for the African continent?”
- Africa Review: African leaders need internal reforms to keep the West away, 24 Oct. 2011
Author states that more African societies are deeply divided internally and need to reflect on the fall of Gaddafi. He argues that ‘the continent is today the site of a growing contention between dominant global powers and new challengers.’
- Pambazuka News (Pan-Africa): Death of Gaddafi, 20 Oct. 2011
Horace Campbell, a professor of African-American studies and political science at Syracuse University writes that the killing of Colonel Gaddafi has all of the hallmarks of a coordinated assassination - marking one more episode of a NATO war in Libya and North Africa.
- Nigeria 70: Nigeria and Global Insecurity, 17 Oct. 2011
Richard Joseph points out that “the lines between al-Qaeda, Islamic extremism in Africa, and wider insecurity in Nigeria, are converging”; and despite this challenge, a purely military approach will not prevent this. He further argues that it is not the time for the US to slash foreign aid, but rather innovatively seek to promote transformative governance and job-producing economic growth.
- Huffington Post, The best candidate for the toughest Job, 13 Oct. 2011 Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan comments on the recruitment of the ICC Prosecutor, saying “there must be no hint of politicking in the election.” The International Criminal Court Statute is a remarkable achievement, but politicizing the election process for the ICC Prosecutor would risk undoing this important achievement.
- A Communiqué of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors highlights their support for the effective design of a Green Climate Fund as part of the Durban outcome
- Brazil declares its willingness to invest in Mozambique to ensure sustainable development with reciprocal benefits for the two countries
- China urges objective, impartial evaluation of China-Africa cooperation
- China Grants South Sudan $31.5m for development projects
- The EU pledges €14.6m to support IMF capacity building in Southern and Eastern Africa
- The EC unveils its "Agenda for Change" in EU Development policy as well as a new policy for EU budget support that aim to ensure development aid provides the maximum impact on poverty reduction
- France will support Kenyan troops fighting Islamist militia in Somalia- a significant step-up of international involvement in the fight against al-Shabab
- The Industrial Development Corporation and the German development bank launch a Green Energy Efficiency Fund in Johannesburg, aimed to help improve energy efficiency and support renewable energies in SMEs
- German State Secretary Beerfeltz provides ten million Euros for ICRC aid in Somalia
- The German Government sets up a ‘Food Security Task Force’ to be responsible for addressing all development work concerned with rural development and food security
- IBSA calls on rich countries to contain their financial crises and prevent the global economy from slipping into a double-dip recession
- The Japanese government increases its assistance to private sector projects in Africa through a concessional loan of approximately $100m to the AfDB
- The UK government will finance the construction of special courts and prisons in Kenya and four other countries in the region to handle piracy suspects and convicts
- An innovative insurance scheme, funded by the UK aims to help East African farmers recover from the devastating drought
- USAID announces that it will invest in an innovative new credit product that could provide access to the sorely needed financial services by entrepreneurs in the developing world
- USAID and partners launch the “Jonglei Food Security Program” to address the root causes of food insecurity throughout Jonglei State of South Sudan
- African countries should enhance the strength and resilience of their poor populations through targeted social safeguards, according to an AUC/AfDB/UNECA/UNDP report entitled “Assessing Progress in Africa toward the MDGs.”
- The World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development finds that women's lives around the world have improved dramatically, but gaps remain in many areas.
- According to a study by the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR), an initiative of the World Bank and UNODC, most large-scale corruption cases involve using legal entities to conceal ownership and control of corrupt proceeds.
- A report entitled “Breaking Even or Breaking Through”, highlights the need to increase funding to meet the demands for more and better education opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
- Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World finds a record number of African countries took decisive steps to improve the business environment for entrepreneurs over the past twelve months. The global report shows that in Sub-Saharan Africa, 15 countries lowered barriers to entry for new businesses; 23 facilitated access to credit; and 7 made it easier to pay taxes.
- A UN report reveals increasing spending on education in sub-Saharan Africa by six per cent every year over the past decade, but many are still lagging in efforts to provide children with quality primary education
- A third of humanity, mostly in Africa and South Asia, face the biggest risks from climate change while rich nations in northern Europe will be least exposed, according to Maplecroft’s 4th Global Atlas Report.
|31 Oct||Day of 7 billion (World population is projected to reach 7 billion)|
|31 Oct - 1 Nov||9th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change: China|
|1-3 Nov||International Conference on “Increasing Agricultural Productivity and Enhancing Food Security in Africa- New Challenges and Opportunities:” Addis Ababa, Ethiopia|
|3-4 Nov||G20 Summit on Financial Markets & World Economy: Cannes, France|
|8-9 Nov||High-Level event on Post-Conflict Peace-building: the Experience of Rwanda: Kigali, Rwanda|
|10-11 Nov||African Media Leaders Forum 2011: Tunis, Tunisia|
|10-12 Nov||Pan-African Conference on Governance Assessments & Civil Society organized by UNDP: Dakar, Senegal|
|11-13 Nov||Mo Ibrahim Foundation Annual Meeting: Tunis, Tunisia|