Assistance by the United Kingdom for Africa's Development Agenda and the Strategy on the whole Mid-East Region


NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 62

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 17 OF 12 JUNE 2006


MS F HAJAIG (ANC) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

In view of the bilateral talks between President Mbeki and Prime Minister Tony Blair, what (a) assistance is the United Kingdom prepared to offer Africa's Development Agenda and (b) strategy is the UK prepared to bring to the whole Mid-East region?

REPLY:

a) One of the principal objectives of the President's meeting with Prime Minister Blair was to advance the African Agenda.

Support for Development in Africa is a major foreign policy theme of the Government of the United Kingdom. In 2004, the United Kingdom established the Commission for Africa with Mr Trevor Manuel, Minister of Finance, as one of the members of the Commission. The Commission published its report in March 2005, setting out a comprehensive plan to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development.

In 2005 the United Kingdom hosted the G8 Summit at Gleneagles and also held the Presidency of the European Union (second half of the year). The Government of Prime Minister Blair emphasised the importance of Africa's Development Agenda by designating 2005 as the "The Year of Africa".

African Development therefore was a primary item on the agenda of the G8 Summit at Gleneagles. Many of the recommendations of the Commission for Africa were taken up by the G8 at Gleneagles and, building on the G8 Africa Action Plan launched at Kananaskis in Canada in 2002, incorporated into an agreed detailed set of commitments by the G8 to tackle areas of poverty, covering aspects such as peace and security, good governance, human development and growth. The commitments include the doubling of aid by 2010 - an extra US $50 billion globally, including $25 billion for Africa - and providing 100% debt cancellation for up to 38 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), mostly in Africa, worth USD $50 billion.

2005 also saw active support in the UK for the Make Poverty History Campaign and the Live6 concerts, both aimed at reducing poverty.

The United Kingdom Government announced a number of programmes in support of Africa's Development Agenda since the publication of the Commission for Africa report.

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