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