Tuesday, May 26, 2015

S. Sudan parliament summons security ministers over W. Equatoria’s rebellion



Home | News    Tuesday 26 May 2015

S. Sudan parliament summons security ministers over W. Equatoria’s rebellion


May 26, 2015 (JUBA) - South Sudanese parliament on Tuesday summoned the minister of defense Kuol Manyang Juuk along with the minister of interior and minister of national security in the office of the president over the new rebellion in Western Equatoria state.


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 South Sudanese MPs stand during a parliamentary session in Juba on August 31, 2011 (AFP)



The three officials, according to the deputy  speaker of the national legislative assembly, Mark Nyipuoc, are expected to appear before the house on Monday next week to provide explanation about the recent military developments in Mundri West county in Western Equatoria state.


Spokesperson of the South Sudanese army (SPLA), Colonel Philip Aguer, on Monday revealed formation of a new rebel group in the state of Western Equatoria, apparently in an attempt to justify the deployment of the government troops in the area after reports quoting the opposition fighters claimed to have carried out the attacks on government soldiers in the area.


He said the armed youth who previously organized themselves to chase out pastoralists from the state turned into rebel forces targeting the government.


But Western Equatoria state information minister Charles Barnaba Kisanga denied in a statement on Tuesday there was rebellion in the area as the army announced.


He said that the circumstances under which the county’s executive director, John Cleopa, was killed could not be blamed on the rebels because he was in entourage of commissioner with security forces all around when they were inspecting the scene of the night attack on the group of SPLA.


“It seemed one member from the security forces moved a bit aside and opened fire killing the executive director and fire was also directed at the commissioner Hassan Bhakeit, who had to duck escape the bullets and even his car was later hit,” he said.


He inquired how shooting could be directed by rebels at only civilians in the group when army and police were all around them. Earlier, some state officials blamed the killing of Cleopa on government soldiers.
Armed youth commanded by Colonel Wesley Weluba stormed and captured Mundri town on Friday but government sent reinforcement on Saturday and captured it.


The parliament summoned the security officials to explain what transpired in the state which led to the death of officials and capture of the county headquarters.
(ST)

 http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article55103


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Home | News    Tuesday 26 May 2015

Juba admits new rebel group captured Mundri town on Friday



May 24, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese army (SPLA) and state officials have admitted that a new rebel group has emerged and captured Mundri town in Western Equatoria state last Friday despite previous denials and contradictions surrounding the situation in the area.
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The South Sudanese army (SPLA) spokesperson, Phillip Aguer (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
They however said the town was recaptured on Saturday and that the South Sudanese army was in full control of the area.
Although South Sudanese army could not comment at the time on the claims, state officials immediately dismissed the rebel assertions of the capture of the town saying the situation was fully under control. They said only a group of “unknown” gunmen attacked SPLA soldiers who were trying to go to Lakes state using Maridi road.
But SPLA spokesman, Colonel Philip Aguer, has confirmed that a rebellion had emerged in Western Equatoria against president Salva Kiir’s government.
“There is a new rebel movement in Western Equatoria state. Security reported that somebody called Charles Balogore under Wesley Waluba [leads rebellion],” he told Eye Radio on Monday.
Aguer said the group initially started to organize in defence of their land against pastoralists but have now turned into a rebel movement to fight the government. He did not however say what name they had given to the new movement.
Wesley whose the army spokesman mentioned to be leading the new rebellion and fight against the government was claimed by SPLM-IO as their field commander in the area.
Aguer said the new rebel commander in the area was a former member of parliament but lost elections in 2010.
“Wesley was a former honourable member of parliament of Western Equatoria but lost election in 2010 and formed a rebellion to chase away the cattle camps from western Equatoria. Now the cattle camps are not any longer in western Equatoria and he turned against the government,” Aguer further explained.
The rebel group, he said, was using weapons allegedly from the Sudanese army, adding that the security was investing the size of the rebel group in Western Equatoria state.
MUNDRI TOWN CAPTURED
The minister of information in Western Equatoria state, Charles Kisanga, has admitted that Mundri town was actually captured on Friday by a group of armed local youth who dislodged county authorities and took full control of the town contrary to earlier denial.
The minister said the state government lost control of Mundri town on Friday and only regained control of it on Saturday when more reinforcement from the SPLA forces and police recaptured it from the youth a day after.
“After the killing of John Keliopa [executive director] on Friday morning, the youths briefly expelled government troops and took control of Mundri on Friday. The army and police forces returned and took over the town on Saturday and they are now controlling the area,” minister Kisanga explained in an interview with Radio Tamazuj.
Kisanga however said the town was captured by local fighters, known as ‘arrow boys’, and not by rebel forces led by former vice president, Riek Machar.
He said the youth were only reacting to the killing of the executive director, slightly contradicting an earlier assertion by county officials that the executive director was killed while visiting a scene of an earlier attack on SPLA soldiers in the area by “unknown” gunmen.
Minister Kisanga could not explain who attacked the SPLA forces in the first place if not the rebels or local youth.
He also dismissed a rebellion by the youth in the state, contradicting what the South Sudanese army’s spokesman confirmed to be a rebellion. Kisanga also dismissed claims that the local armed youth were now allied to the South Sudanese rebels, saying they were only protecting the area.
“They don’t belong to the rebels. Those are local youths that are making protection of their areas,” he said.
Last week, James Gatdet Dak, spokesperson of the leader of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), Riek Machar, said their fighters allied with local youth captured Mundri on Friday under direct command of Colonel Wesley Welabe and under the overall command of Major General Elias Laku Jada.
“Colonel Wesley is one of us. He commanded the operations that captured Mundri town on Friday,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Monday.
He said the opposition forces had been organizing and making recruitments in the area, saying they led in the Friday capture of Mundri town, some 200km west of the national capital, Juba.
(ST)



Launching campaign, Sanders appeals to party's Warren wing



Launching campaign, Sanders appeals to party's Warren wing


Associated Press Videos

Bernie Sanders on 2016: 'Don't Underestimate Me'

Bernie Sanders on 2016: 'Don't Underestimate Me'
Now I Get It: America's crumbling infrastructure
Sanders caucuses with the Democrats in Washington and is running for the Democratic nomination. He and Democratic former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley are vying to become the primary alternative to Clinton. Much of the energy behind a Clinton alternative has been directed to drafting Warren, but she has repeatedly said she won't run.
For Sanders, a key question is electability. Clinton is in a commanding position by any measure. Yet his supporters in New Hampshire say his local ties and longstanding practice of holding town hall meetings and people-to-people campaigning — a staple in the nation's first primary state — could serve him well.
"Toward the Vermont border it's like a love-fest for Bernie," said Jerry Curran, an Amherst, New Hampshire, Democratic activist who has been involved in the draft Warren effort. "He's not your milquetoast left-winger. He's kind of a badass left-winger."
A self-described democratic socialist, Sanders has raised more than $4 million since announcing in late April that he would be a presidential candidate. He suggested in the interview that raising $50 million for the primaries was a possibility. "That would be a goal," he said.
He rejects the notion that he's simply in the race to shape the debate.
"Hillary Clinton is a candidate, I am a candidate," Sanders said. "I suspect there will be other candidates. The people in this country will make their choice."
Whether Sanders can tap into the party's Warren wing and influence Clinton's policy agenda remains unclear. But he has been on the forefront of liberal causes as Clinton has seemed to be tacking to the left.
Clinton regularly refers to an economic stacked deck against American workers — rhetoric that offers comparisons to Warren's frequent description of the economic system being "rigged" against middle-class families.
Sanders has joined with Warren to drive opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade proposal, arguing it would ship jobs overseas. Clinton has avoided taking a specific position on the trade deal.
The Vermont senator has introduced legislation to make tuition free at public colleges and universities, a major piece of Warren's agenda. The free tuition would be covered by a mix of state and federal money and paid for by higher taxes on Wall Street investment firms, hedge funds and other financial transactions. Clinton's campaign has signaled that she intends to make debt-free college a major piece of her campaign.
Sanders' disdain for big money in politics is also shared by liberals. Clinton frequently tells voters that she would back a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court decision allowing super PACS to raise unlimited money. But Democratic super PACs are already lining up behind her.
"I'm not going to have a super PAC in this campaign," Sanders said. "I don't go to fundraisers where millionaires sit around the room and say here's a million, here's $5 million for your super PAC. That's not my life. That's not my world. And I think the American people are saying that is not what our politics should be about." He said the money he's raised so far has come from more than 100,000 individual donors, giving an average of $42 each.
Organizers of the pro-Warren effort say Clinton may still win over many of their supporters. Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Vermont-based Democracy for America, said Sanders would "fill the void" for some of the voters hoping for Warren to run. But not for all.

"They're different people. They've got different pluses, they've got different minuses," Chamberlain said. "Some of the people who want to see Elizabeth get in the race are going to Hillary. Some of them are going to go to Martin O'Malley." O'Malley is expected to announce his candidacy Saturday.
If Sanders is the underdog, that's fine by him. During the 1970s, he lost four statewide elections as a third-party candidate, and then narrowly defeated a Democratic incumbent in 1981 to become Burlington's mayor.
"Nobody — trust me — nobody thought I would defeat a five-term incumbent Democratic mayor," Sanders said, noting the winning margin of 10 votes.
The lessons, he said, are clear: "Don't underestimate me."
___
Follow Ken Thomas on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KThomasDC

http://news.yahoo.com/launching-campaign-sanders-appeals-partys-warren-wing-122010952--election.html

Africa seeks super banker to manage new economic frontier



Africa seeks super banker to manage new economic frontier

 

Nigerian Agriculture Minister and candidate for next president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, talks to the media in Paris on March 25, 2015

Abidjan (Ivory Coast) (AFP) - Eight candidates are vying to become the next head of the strategic African Development Bank as the continent is undergoing an economic transformation.

With 80 ADB shareholders -- 54 African states and 26 non-African countries -- set to vote on Thursday, it is difficult to predict who will succeed Rwandan Donald Kaberuka, bank chief for two consecutive terms since 2005.

The new super banker will take over an ADB seeking to diversify beyond its traditional role as a development bank, which lends money for major projects -- a total of $6.8 billion for 317 operations in 2013.

Today despite multiple conflicts, health crises such as Ebola, and staggering poverty, Africa is seen as "a new frontier in world economic growth", Amethis investment fund founder Luc Rigouzzo told AFP.

He noted that the continent's gross domestic product has doubled since the year 2000 to $2 trillion (1.8 trillion euros). In an OECD-led report released Monday, economists predicted the overall African economy would expand by 4.5 percent this year.

In this new frontier, shareholders in the Abidjan-based bank might for the first time pick a woman, Cristina Duarte, Cape Verde's finance minister, who would also be the first Portuguese speaker to run the bank.
Other contenders include Akinwumi Adesina from Nigeria, which rivals South Africa as an investors' favourite despite fighting a six-year insurgency by Boko Haram Islamists in the country's north.
However, a win by Adesina, Nigeria's outgoing agriculture minister, would break an unwritten rule that regional heavyweight countries should not run the ADB.

The candidates from Francophone African countries are Mali's Birama Sidibe, an expert in development, Tunisia's ex-finance chief Jalloul Ayed and Bedoumra Kordje, current finance minister in Chad, who if chosen would become the ADB's first president from central Africa.
Ethiopian finance minister Sufian Ahmed, Sierra Leone's foreign minister Samura Kamara and former ADB vice president Thomas Sakala of Zimbabwe round out the list.

- West, Asia play kingmakers -

Foreign investors will likely play the role of kingmaker in choosing the next ADB chief.
The United States -- the ADB's second-biggest shareholder after Nigeria -- will have a central role in the vote, as will Japan and China.
France wants a bank president who is "more concerned about the interests" of Francophone Africa, the finance ministry says.

But analysts say Western powers need to take a new view of Africa.

"The West has held on to a vision that was true 30 years ago, of an empty, rural continent with a colonial trading post economy, heavily dependent on raw materials and the trickling-in of foreign aid," said Rigouzzo, a former chief of France's development agency.

Africa "is still seen as waiting for handouts, but we are no longer in that situation," he said. "Public development aid now accounts for less than 2.5 percent of the continent's GDP."

Private capital is flowing, with major US-based investment and equity firms Carlyle and KKR setting up shop in Africa, while several countries now finance themselves fully on the market.

And without losing sight of the need to fight poverty and develop infrastructure, the new ADB chief must plan to manage the continent's financial attractiveness.

- No more 'white elephants' -
Nigeria's Adesina told AFP in late March that he wanted to "finish off the white elephants", in a reference to useless luxury projects that are often financed using international aid and built by foreign businessmen, and which reek of corruption.

He called for "intelligent infrastructure that is more productive, more competitive".
He also urged more cooperation across borders, pitching ideas such as an "African Google", a transnational electricity market, and a regional stock exchange.

Mali's Sidibe told AFP he wants to "pull the bank out of its comfort zone". The ADB should act as a "financial catalyst", not just as a lender.

Cape Verde's Duarte shares a similar vision. If chosen, she wants to turn the ADB into an "innovative, creative bank that responds to the specific needs of African countries and their private sectors".
The winning candidate needs to secure a majority of votes from both bank members and African states.

http://news.yahoo.com/africa-seeks-super-banker-manage-economic-frontier-053132414.html

Bill Clinton company shows complexity of family finances



Bill Clinton company shows complexity of family finances

 
 

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2014 file photo, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is welcomed to the stage by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. The newly released financial files on Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s growing fortune omit a mystery company with no apparent employees or assets that the former president has used to provide consulting and other services, according to corporate documents reviewed by The Associated Press.  (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
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FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2014 file photo, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is welcomed to the stage by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. The newly released financial files on Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s growing fortune omit a mystery company with no apparent employees or assets that the former president has used to provide consulting and other services, according to corporate documents reviewed by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
 
WASHINGTON (AP) — The newly released financial files on Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton's growing fortune omit a company with no apparent employees or assets that the former president has legally used to provide consulting and other services, but which demonstrates the complexity of the family's finances.
Because the company, WJC, LLC, has no financial assets, Hillary Clinton's campaign was not obligated to report its existence in her recent financial disclosure report, officials with Bill Clinton's private office and the Clinton campaign said. They were responding to questions by The Associated Press, which reviewed corporate documents.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to provide private details of the former president's finances on the record, said the entity was a "pass-through" company designed to channel payments to the former president.

Under federal ethics disclosure rules, declared candidates do not have to report assets worth less than $1,000. But the company's existence demonstrates the complexity of tracking the Clintons' finances as Hillary Clinton ramps up her presidential bid.

While Bill Clinton's lucrative speeches have provided the bulk of the couple's income, earning as much as $50 million during his wife's four-year term as secretary of state in the Obama administration, the former president has also sought to branch out into other business activities in recent years. Little is known about the exact nature and financial worth of Bill Clinton's non-speech business interests.

The identities of several U.S and foreign-based companies and foundations that Bill Clinton worked for have been disclosed in Hillary Clinton's recent financial report as well as in earlier reports during her stint as secretary of state.

Under federal disclosure rules for spouses' earned income, Hillary Clinton was only obligated to identify the source of her spouse's income and confirm that he received more than $1,000. As a result, the precise amounts of Bill Clinton's earned income from consulting have not been disclosed, and it's not known how much was routed through WJC, LLC.

WJC, LLC was set up in Delaware in 2008 and again in 2013 and in New York in 2009, according to documents obtained by The AP. The company did not appear among holdings in the Clintons' financial disclosure released last week or in previous Hillary Clinton disclosure reports between 2008 and 2013, when she resigned as secretary of state. Bill Clinton signed a document as its "authorizing person" in a corporate filing in Delaware in 2013.

A limited liability company is a commonly used business structure that provides tax advantages and limited legal protection for the assets of company owners and partners.

The purpose of Bill Clinton's U.S.-based company was not disclosed in any of the corporate filings in Delaware and New York, but State Department files recently reviewed by the AP show that WJC, LLC surfaced in emails from Bill Clinton's aides to the department's ethics officials.

In February 2009, Clinton's counselor, Douglas Band, asked State Department ethics officials to clear Bill Clinton's consulting work for three companies owned by influential Democratic party donors. Memos sent by Band proposed that Bill Clinton would provide "consulting services regarding geopolitical, economic and social trends affecting the entity and philanthropic opportunities" through the WJC, LLC entity.

State Department officials approved Bill Clinton's consulting work for longtime friend Steve Bing's Shangri-La Industries and another with Wasserman Investments, GP, a firm run by entertainment executive and Democratic party donor Casey Wasserman. The ethics officials turned down Bill Clinton's proposed work with a firm run by entertainment magnate and Democratic donor Haim Saban because of Saban's active role in Mideast political affairs.

WJC, LLC was also cited by Band in a June 2011 memo sent to State Department ethics officials asking for clearance to allow Bill Clinton to advise Band's international consulting company, Teneo Strategy LLC. Band's request said Teneo would use "consulting services provided by President Clinton through WJC, LLC." State Department officials approved the three-year contract between the two companies.
None of the proposals detailed how much Bill Clinton would be paid.

While Hillary Clinton's 2011 federal disclosure report did not mention WJC, LLC, it reported that Bill Clinton received "non-employee compensation over $1,000 from Teneo," but did not disclose a more precise amount. Federal disclosure rules require the spouses of filers to disclose the identity of any income sources over $1,000, but they do not have to provide exact figures.

Pass-through, or shell, companies became an issue in the 2012 presidential campaign when Republican candidate Mitt Romney disclosed a private equity entity worth $1.9 million despite failing to report the company on his previous federal disclosure. Romney aides said the company previously held no assets but then received the $1.9 million "true up" payment — a catch-up payment to make up for private equity fees from defunct investment advisory businesses that had not been previously paid.
__
Associated Press writer Randall Chase contributed to this report from Dover, Delaware

 http://news.yahoo.com/bill-clinton-company-shows-complexity-family-finances-180745584--election.html





G20 leaders commit to ending poverty and inequality



G20 leaders commit to ending poverty and inequality

17 November 2014 The G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, Australia, has committed to improving the G20 countries’ GDP by at least an additional 2% by 2018. Speaking at the end of the summit which ran from 15 to 16 November, South African President Jacob Zuma said the G20 countries also agreed to enhance investment and trade, significantly increase job creation, as well as implement a growth strategy with the aim of reducing inequality and poverty. “This year's G20 Summit was organised differently as it focused mainly on measures to achieve economic growth globally and to create jobs by lifting the world's GDP by 2%. Australia, as the current chair of the G20, has kept the agenda of the Summit focused on issues related to the global economy, development, growth and trade,” said Zuma.

Current developments in G20 countries

During the Summit, G20 member countries briefed their peers on the current developments in their respective regions. In this regard, South Africa provided an African perspective on a number of issues such as the global economy and trade, infrastructure development, inclusive growth, the global financial situation and combating the scourge of Ebola, amongst others. On the current global economic situation, President Zuma said G20 countries need to, amongst others actions, accelerate infrastructure development especially in Africa in order to sustain global growth. “This will help lift intra-Africa trade and contribute immensely toward enabling our continent to industrialise and to create jobs in high value sectors, so that Africa can produce value - added manufactured goods,” he said.

G20 Global Infrastructure Hub

The G20 Global Infrastructure Hub, knowledge-sharing platform between G20 governments, the private sector, development banks and other international organisations established during the Summit, will act as a conduit to promote intra-Africa trade and form linkages with other G20 countries. The Summit also agreed that International Financial Institutions (IFIs) needed a relook, as emerging markets and developing economies now account for the largest share of global growth. “This shift in the structure of the global economy must be reflected in the governance structures of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Trade Organisation (WTO),” said Zuma.

International tax system

G20 leaders also made a commitment to modernise the international tax system, as this was critical to ensuring fairness, and to secure countries' revenue bases. Commenting on this recommendation by the leaders, Zuma said although tax loss attributable to base erosion and profit shifting has not been quantitatively measured, there are indications that developing countries suffer severe tax revenue losses due to these practices. “All countries with open economies stand to benefit when multinationals pay their fair share of taxes. We support the work done by the [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] to co-ordinate international efforts to curb base erosion and profit shifting. “We have already implemented measures in our domestic tax legislation in relation to base erosion and profit shifting. We are fully committed to resolving outstanding technical and policy issues and to finalise these by the end of 2015,” Zuma said.

Agreement to exchange information

South Africa is among 51 countries that signed the Agreement on Automatic Exchange to Financial Information in Berlin, Germany, in October 2014. In this light, Zuma said South Africa is on the way to realising the agreement and by 2017, the country would have systems in place to share information. “We feel strongly that we must continue to contribute towards strengthening tax administration capacities of developing and low income countries to fully participate in this reform agenda,” Zuma said. South Africa called for open channels of communication amongst regulators across borders. Recently, South Africa asked the Financial Stability Board and other international Standard Setting Bodies to make concerted outreach efforts to consult with and include the experiences of emerging market and developing countries, as well as other non-G20 countries. On trade, Zuma said the African continent wants to move from being a net exporter of raw materials to exporting value-added goods through beneficiation and manufacturing. “In this regard, Africa has adopted an ambitious industrialisation, infrastructure development and market integration programme,” he said.

Ebola

On Ebola scourge in some parts of West Africa, Zuma said South Africa and Senegal made a presentation to the leaders on the need to work together in addressing the serious challenge posed by the epidemic. In a statement, G20 leaders pledged to contribute more resources in curtailing the outbreak of Ebola and thanked international organisations such as the United Nations, World Bank, IMF and others, for their support and contributions. The leaders recognised the need to support international efforts to contain and control the epidemic.

BRICS meeting

As is usual during the G20 Leaders’ Summit, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) held a meeting on the side-lines to discuss the agenda of the G20 Summit and to provide input on issues such as economic growth and development and the role that business can play in stimulating economic growth. The BRICS leaders also thrashed out infrastructure development in Africa and the topical issue of the current Ebola epidemic. SAnews.gov

48th Meeting of the GEF Council: Consultation with Civil Society Organizations



Event

48th Meeting of the GEF Council: Consultation with Civil Society Organizations

A Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council consultation with civil society organizations will be held on 1 June 2015, in Washington D.C., US, preceding the 48th meeting of the GEF Council, taking place from 2-4 June at the same location.  
date: 1 June 2015   location: Washington D.C., US   contact: GEF Secretariat   phone: +1-202-473-0508   fax: +1-202-522-3240/3245   e-mail: secretariat@thegef.org   www: http://www.thegef.org/gef/node/10937  


Kenyan police clash with al-Shabab in Garissa County



Kenyan police clash with al-Shabab in Garissa County

  • 26 May 2015
  • From the section Africa
Al-Shabab has been intensifying attacks in Kenya
Kenyan police have been involved in a fierce gun battle with militant Islamists in north-eastern Garissa County, leaving one officer wounded, a government spokesman has told the BBC.
The al-Shabab militants had ambushed the police near Yumbis town in Garissa County, Mwenda Njoka added.
He dismissed as propaganda al-Shabab's claim that at least 20 policemen were killed in the attack.
Al-Shabab is a Somalia-based group which has stepped up attacks in Kenya.
In April, it carried out a siege on Garissa University College and 148 people were killed.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-32881323

Africa: Oxfam Poverty Report - Paying the Price: Why rich countries must invest now in a war on poverty


Comments by Judy Miriga:


This is happening because International Donors prefer engaging in corruption on behalf of their rich special interest corporate special business interest group who sponsor them and who lobby and engage politicians and avoid working with the Civil Society with the Local Social Welfare NGO groups............. and this is another reason why corruption, impunity, graft and terrorism is growing in an alarming rates in Africa.  Things must begin to be done differently for mutual respect, dignity, value and benefit of all making the world a better place to live in Liberty and Harmony.


Love is an ingredient that perfects life, and if we love one another, we shall do no harm and life will have meaning to all people.............it is because if we love we shall share and care for one another, and at the end, value life for what it is...........and this world shall be a better place to live in unity and at peace with each other.


Judy Miriga.
Diaspora Spokesperson.



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Poorest countries neglected by foreign aid donors: report


The world's poorest nations, the bulk of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, are receiving less than a third of development aid, and this support is waning, a non-governmental organisation founded by U2 frontman Bono said Tuesday.

World leaders should target the most disadvantaged nations when they adopt a new set of goals to eradicate extreme poverty this September, the advocacy group ONE said in a statement.

"We won't see an end to extreme poverty unless leaders shift focus to the poorest countries and poorest people, especially girls and women," said ONE's global policy director Eloise Todd in a statement on the publication of the report entitled: "Putting the Poorest First."

"Despite multiple summits to debate these issues there's a shocking lack of global commitment to deliver genuine, life-changing commitments for the world's poorest and hardest to reach," she added.

Ahead of a meeting of the G7 group of major industrialised countries in Germany next week, the report said that the majority of the European Union nations had not lived up to their decade-old commitment to raise development assistance to 0.7 percent of their gross national income (GNI).

The 28-nation bloc would need to deliver an additional $55.8 billion in 2015 to make good on this promise.
"Champions of development assistance, such as France and Canada, have declined markedly in their performance over the past few years," said the report.

The United Kingdom and Germany however, were "providing cause for hope."

The reports said that the world's most vulnerable countries received less than a third of total aid (30.3 percent) in 2014.

The United Nations lists 48 nations as Least Developed Countries - 34 of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.
"Despite the distinct needs of LDC's, the poorest countries have not been prioritised by development partners," said the report.

The United Nation's Millenium Development Goals, a set of eight targets to eradicate poverty over 15 years, expires in 2015 and world leaders are working on a new set of goals to shape development until 2030.
One of the key meetings this year to determine the future of development financing takes place in Addis Ababa in July.

ONE urged world leaders to agree at this meeting to give 50 percent of aid to the poorest countries, and set a timetable to reach the target of spending 0.7 percent of GNI on aid.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/poorest-countries-neglected-foreign-aid-donors-report-094800514.html



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Africa: Report Highlights Resource Plunder

AfricaFocus Bulletin
May 12, 2014 (140512)
(Reposted from sources cited below)

Editor's Note

"Take the profit out of plunder: Africa's resources should be sustainably managed for the benefit of Africa's peoples. National and regional action alone will not be enough. The international community must develop multilateral systems that prevent the plunder of Africa's resources [of fisheries and forests]." - Africa Progress Panel, 2014
The African Progress Panel, a body headed by former UN SecretaryGeneral Kofi Annan, may seem an unlikely group to be using words such as "plunder" to characterize Africa's economic challenges. But its reports, including last year's report with a key focus on mining industries and capital flows out of Africa, indicate that such structural critiques are gaining ground not only among radical critics but also in more centrist circles. Inequality and even plunder are topics for debate that cannot be avoided.
This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains excerpts from the summary of the 2014 Africa Progress Panel report, released on May 8.
This year's report focuses in particular on the sectors of fisheries and forests, stressing that the failure to manage these resources increases inequality and drains wealth from the continent. In more general terms, it stresses the need to invest in social protection programs and that this in turn can help supply more stability for Africa's small farmers who are essential to broad-based economic advances.
The full report is available on the panel's website (http://africaprogresspanel.org), as are reports from previous years. The 2012 report, excerpted in an earlier AfricaFocus (http://www.africafocus.org/docs12/app1205.php), focused on jobs and equity. That report stressed that "Countries across Africa are becoming richer but whole sections of society are being left behind."
For previous AfricaFocus Bulletins on economic issues, visit http://www.africafocus.org/econexp.php On illicit capital flows and related questions in particular, see http://www.africafocus.org/debtexp.php
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Africa Progress Report 2014: Grain, Fish, Money

Summary

"Africa is a land of opportunity ... business opportunities are there, growth is there and the population is there." - President Macky Sall, Senegal, January 2014
"Families have lived off fish for generations ... but fish stocks have been reduced. Our revenues have come down. We used to be able to save a bit for our children's education or to fix our boats but it has now become harder to make ends meet." Issa Fall, Fisherman Committee, Soumbedioune, Senegal, January 2014
These two views from one country in Africa tell very different stories. President Macky Sall was speaking about his government's "Emergent Senegal" investment plan - a multibillion-dollar strategy for transforming the country's infrastructure. Ten years ago Senegal was still in the grip of a debt crisis. Now it is able to sell sovereign debt on eurobond markets. The economy is gaining strength, exports are growing and Senegal is emerging as a regional hub for transport, logistics and tourism.
Then there is the other Senegal - the Senegal of Issa Fall. Along with tens of thousands of artisanal fishers who ply their trade from pirogues, canoes built by hand from local timber, his livelihood is under threat. The ocean off West Africa is one of the world's richest fishing grounds. Yet catches are declining, along with the income they generate. The reason: illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by commercial fleets from other countries. Senegal lacks the capacity to monitor the activities of these fleets. Until recently, it also lacked the political will to tackle the problem. Leaders and business interests actively colluded in, and benefited from, the illegal sale of permits to foreign fleets.
Senegal's experience is a microcosm of a wider story. For more than a decade, Africa's economies have been doing well, according to graphs that chart the growth of GDP, exports and foreign investment. The experience of Africa's people has been more mixed. Viewed from the rural areas and informal settlements that are home to most Africans, the economic recovery looks less impressive. Some - like the artisanal fishermen of West Africa - have been pushed to the brink of destitution. For others, growth has brought extraordinary wealth. Africa is now home to some of the world's fastest-growing markets for luxury goods - and signs of the new prosperity are increasingly visible alongside reminders of the old problem of poverty.
Africa stands at a crossroads. Economic growth has taken root across much of the region. Exports are booming, foreign investment is on the rise and dependence on aid is declining. Governance reforms are transforming the political landscape. Democracy, transparency and accountability have given Africa's citizens a greater voice in decisions that affect their lives.
These are encouraging developments. Yet the progress in reducing poverty, improving people's lives and putting in place the foundations for more inclusive and sustainable growth has been less impressive. Governments have failed to convert the wealth created by economic growth into the opportunities that all Africans can exploit to build a better future. The time has come to set a course towards more inclusive growth and fairer societies.
This year's Africa Progress Report addresses some of the central challenges facing Africa's governments. We share the view that there is much cause for optimism. Demography, globalization, new technologies and changes in the environment for business are combining to create opportunities for development that were absent before the economic recovery. However, optimism should not give way to the exuberance now on display in some quarters. Governments urgently need to make sure that economic growth doesn't just create wealth for some, but improves wellbeing for the majority.
Above all, that means strengthening the focus on Africa's greatest and most productive assets, the region's farms and fisheries. This report calls for more effective protection, management and mobilization of the continent's vast ocean and forest resources. This protection is needed to support transformative growth. The achievements of the past decade and a half should not be understated. Economic growth has increased average incomes by around one-third. On the current growth trajectory, incomes will double over the next 22 years. Once synonymous with macroeconomic mismanagement and economic stagnation, Africa now hosts some of the world's fastest-growing economies. When it comes to growth, Ethiopia rivals China, and Zambia outpaces India. Contrary to a widespread misperception, there is more to the growth record than oil and minerals - and more than exports and foreign investment. African business groups have emerged as a powerful force for change in their own right, in areas such as banking, agro-processing, telecommunications and construction.
For the first time in a generation, poverty is falling - but it is falling far too slowly. The benefits of growth are trickling down to Africa's poor but at a desperately slow pace. Next year, African governments will join the wider international community in adopting post-2015 international development goals. One of those goals will be the eradication of poverty by 2030. On current trends, Africa will miss that goal by a wide margin. Why is growth reducing poverty so slowly? Partly because Africa's poor are very poor: those below the poverty line of US$1.25 a day live on an average of just 70 cents a day. And partly because high levels of initial inequality mean that it takes a lot of growth to reduce poverty even by a little. Raising the growth trajectory by 2 percentage points per capita and modest redistribution in favour of the poor would get Africa within touching distance of eradicating poverty by 2030.
Well-designed social protection programmes could play a vital role by protecting vulnerable people against the risks that come with droughts, illness and other shocks. By transferring cash, they can also raise income levels. Experience in other regions - especially Latin America - demonstrates that social protection can simultaneously help to reduce poverty and inequality, and boost growth in agriculture. Yet Africa underinvests in this vital area - and few governments have developed integrated programmes. By contrast, they spend around 3 per cent of GDP on energy subsidies, most of which go to the rich - three times the level of support provided for social protection. It is hard to imagine a more misplaced set of priorities.
If Africa is to develop a more dynamic and inclusive pattern of growth, there is no alternative to a strengthened focus on agriculture. Sub-Saharan Africa is a region of smallholder farmers. Some people mistakenly see that as a source of weakness and inefficiency. We see it as a strength and potential source of growth.
Africa's farmers have an unrivalled capacity for resilience and innovation. Operating with no fertilizer, pesticide or irrigation on fragile soils in rain-fed areas, usually with little more than a hoe, they have suffered from a combination of neglect and disastrously misplaced development strategies. Few constituencies can have received more bad advice from development partners and governments than African farmers. And few of the world's farmers are as poorly served by infrastructure, financial systems, scientific innovation or access to markets. The results are reflected in low levels of productivity: cereals yields are well under half the world average.
Agriculture remains the Achilles' heel of Africa's development success story. Low levels of productivity trap millions of farmers in poverty, act as a brake on growth, and weaken links between the farm and non-farm economy - links that were crucial to development breakthroughs in Bangladesh, India and Vietnam. Low productivity has another consequence that has received far too little attention. Africa's farmers could feed rapidly growing urban populations and generate exports to meet demand in global markets. However, the region is increasingly and, in our view, dangerously dependent on imports. African countries spent US$35 billion on food imports (excluding fish) in 2011. The share accounted for by intra-African trade: less than 5 per cent. If Africa's farmers increased their productivity and substituted these imports with their own produce, this would provide a powerful impetus to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and supporting a more inclusive pattern of growth.
It is time for African governments and the wider international community to initiate a uniquely African green revolution. We emphasize the word unique. Copying South Asia's experience and retracing the steps of other regions is not a viable strategy. Agricultural conditions in Africa are different. Yet Africa desperately needs the scientific innovations in drought-resistant seeds, in higher-yielding varieties and in water use, fertilizer and pesticide that helped to transform agriculture in other regions. Returns on investments in these key areas will be diminished if deeprooted policy failures are not tackled. These range from exorbitant transport costs for farm produce to underinvestment in storage and marketing infrastructure and barriers to intraregional trade.
African farmers also need help to cope with the effects of climate change, which is very likely to lead to above-average warming in Africa over the course of the 21st century, reducing the yields of major cereal crops. Yields of maize, a major regional food crop, are expected to fall by around 22 per cent. The fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change identifies Southern Africa, West Africa and the Sahel as regions facing acute known risks. However, no region will be unaffected. Even modest changes in the timing and intensity of rainfall, in the frequency and duration of droughts, and surface temperature can have profoundly damaging consequences for production, poverty and nutrition.
All of which makes the international community's failure to provide adequate adaptation financing indefensible. Having promised much, rich countries have provided little new and additional climate adaptation financing. Commitments through climate funds are less than US$700 million - and spending is even lower. This is unjust and short-sighted. It is unjust because Africa's farmers are being left to cope with a climate crisis they did not create. Adaptation spending in Africa is dwarfed by the multibillion-dollar investments being undertaken in rich countries. And underinvestment in adaptation is short-sighted because early investments could boost growth, enhance food security and reduce climate risks.
Harnessing Africa's resources for African development is another priority. In last year's report, Equity in Extractives, we highlighted the damaging consequences of tax evasion and loss of revenue through undervaluation of mineral resource assets. This year we turn our attention to renewable resources, focusing on fisheries and logging. There are some striking parallels with tax evasion. In each case, Africa is being integrated through trade into markets characterized by high levels of illegal and unregulated activity. In each case resources that should be used for investment in Africa are being plundered through the activities of local elites and foreign investors. And in each case African governments and the wider international community are failing to put in place the multilateral rules needed to combat what is a global collective action problem.
The social, economic and human consequences are devastating. On a conservative estimate, illegal and unregulated fishing costs West Africa alone US$1.3 billion a year. The livelihoods of artisanal fishing people are being destroyed, Africa is losing a vital source of protein and nutrition, and opportunities to enter higher valueadded areas of world trade are being lost. Unregistered industrial trawlers and ports at which illegal catches are unloaded are the economic equivalent of mining companies evading taxes and offshore tax havens. The underlying problems are widely recognized. Yet international action to solve those problems has relied on voluntary codes of conduct that are often widely ignored. The same is true of logging activity, with the forests of West and Central Africa established as hot-spots for the plunder of timber resources.
Placing Africa on a transformative pathway will require investing in inclusive growth. Infrastructure is one priority. No region has lessdeveloped road networks and energy systems than Africa. Changing this picture will require significant up-front capital spending, prefaced by the development of bankable proposals and the emergence of new business models. The current financing gap has been estimated at around US$48 billion. Much emphasis has been placed on the development of "new and innovative" financing to close that gap, including the use of aid to attract private investment. Unfortunately, the delivery of real finance has been less impressive than the hype surrounding the relentless proliferation of new initiatives. Part of the problem is a failure to invest sufficiently in building the capacity of African governments to develop infrastructure projects.
Africa's financial systems are another constraint on growth. No region has a lower level of access to financial services. Only one in five Africans have any form of account at a formal financial institution, with the poor, rural dwellers and women facing the greatest disadvantage. Such financial exclusion undermines opportunities for reducing poverty and boosting growth that benefits all. Lacking access to insurance, Africa's farmers have to put their meagre savings into contingency funds to deal with emergencies, rather than investing them in boosting productivity. Similarly, lacking access to loans and saving institutions, they are often unable to respond to market opportunities.
Other weaknesses in domestic financing have to be addressed as a matter of urgency. At one level, the regional financing environment has been transformed. Ten years ago, countries across Africa were still emerging from the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative. Today, many of the same countries have entered sovereign bond markets. But Africa cannot meet its financing needs in infrastructure and skills development through aid and commercial market debt financing alone. That is why there is no substitute for domestic financing. Unfortunately, economic growth has done little to increase either the rate of savings or the proportion of GDP that is collected in domestic tax revenues - outcomes that point to the need for institutional reforms.

Recommendations

In this report we document some of the great development challenges facing Africa. Meeting these challenges will not be easy. Yet Africa's political leaders, entrepreneurs, farmers and civil society have an unparalleled opportunity to transform their countries. If that opportunity is seized, this could be the generation that will be lauded throughout history for eradicating poverty. We set out in this report a broad-based agenda for change. At the heart of that agenda are five core principles, for each of which we identify the necessary practical action.
Share the wealth
Inclusive growth and expanded opportunity are essential to eradicate poverty. African governments should set equity targets linked to the post-2015 development goals. These targets would focus on narrowing gaps in opportunity. For example, they could include halving over five years the disparities in school attendance, child survival and access to basic services linked to rural-urban divides, wealth gaps and gender divisions. Strengthening the commitment to inclusive growth demands an expansion of social protection, including cash transfers to the poor. Governments should be diverting some of the 3 per cent of regional GDP they now devote to energy subsidies into welldesigned social protection programmes.
Invest in Africa's unique green revolution
African governments, the private sector and the global community must work together to invest in Africa's unique green revolution.
It is possible to double Africa's agricultural productivity within five years. As outlined by the African Union, African countries can end hunger and malnutrition and become major players in global food markets. It is also vital to unleash the potential of sustainable agriculture and aquaculture to provide food, jobs and export earnings. Some of the requirements for achieving a breakthrough in agriculture are financial. Now is the time for governments to act on their pledge to spend at least 10 per cent of budget resources on agriculture. But governments also have to create the right market conditions. An immediate priority is the promotion of import substitution to cut Africa's US$35 billion food import bill. This will require measures to cut tariffs and non-tariff barriers to regional trade, eliminate transport cartels, and develop marketing infrastructure.
Take the profit out of plunder
Africa's resources should be sustainably managed for the benefit of Africa's peoples. National and regional action alone will not be enough. The international community must develop multilateral systems that prevent the plunder of Africa's resources.
Fisheries: The global community must act collectively to unleash a blue revolution for ocean management. To stop the plunder of African fishery resources, all governments should ratify and implement the 2009 Port State Measures Agreement to tackle illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and establish a global register of fishing vessels. African governments should increase fines on IUU vessels, support artisanal fishing, increase transparency, and provide full disclosure of the terms on which commercial fishing permits are issued.
Forests: All commercial logging concession contracts should be subject to full disclosure, along with the beneficial ownership structures of the companies involved. Concessions should be provided with the informed consent of the communities involved, based on a clear and accurate representation of potential costs and benefits.
Close the twin deficit in infrastructure and inclusive finance
African governments must close the twin deficit in infrastructure and inclusive finance. The lack of infrastructure is a bottleneck on growth and opportunity. The same is true of finance. Regional cooperation on energy and transport is vital in order to achieve economies of scale in infrastructure projects. African governments can also support the development of mobile banking and e-commerce to overcome financial exclusion, building on successes such as M-PESA in Kenya. Development finance institutions should work with the private sector to foster more balanced perceptions of risk.
Make tax and finance more fair and transparent
Strengthened domestic resource mobilization holds the key to financing for inclusive growth, with African governments investing in efficient and equitable tax collection. Governments should publish in a transparent manner all tax exemptions that are granted to corporate entities, both domestic and foreign. The estimated cost of the tax exemption should be made public, along with the reasons for the exemption and the principle beneficiaries.
The international community must step up efforts to combat tax evasion. Multinational corporations operating in Africa should fully disclose their financial operations and tax payments. Building on current initiatives, governments should accelerate the automatic exchange of tax information and build Africa's capacity to benefit from this information. All governments, including those of financially secretive jurisdictions, should establish public registries of beneficial ownership of companies and trusts. Multinational corporations can lead the way by publishing a full list of their subsidiaries, as well as information on global revenues, profits and taxes paid across different jurisdictions.
The international community should also deliver on its aid pledge - and go one step further by cutting the cost of remittances. The G8 should work with African governments to cut the cost of remittance transfers to a maximum of 5 per cent. That means curtailing restrictive business practices on the part of money transfer operators, strengthening competition, and creating incentives for the development of low-fee mobile remittance payments.

AfricaFocus Bulletin is an independent electronic publication providing reposted commentary and analysis on African issues, with a particular focus on U.S. and international policies. AfricaFocus Bulletin is edited by William Minter.
AfricaFocus Bulletin can be reached at africafocus@igc.org. Please write to this address to subscribe or unsubscribe to the bulletin, or to suggest material for inclusion. For more information about reposted material, please contact directly the original source mentioned. For a full archive and other resources, see http://www.africafocus.org
- See more at: http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/app1405.php#sthash.cEkbhkij.dpu

Africa: Oxfam Poverty Report

AfricaFocus Bulletin
Dec 14, 2004 (041214)
(Reposted from sources cited below)

Editor's Note

In one of the first reports from a global coalition to make 2005 a year of action against poverty, Oxfam International has issued a report calling on rich countries to live up to their promises to provide resources and opportunities to achieve the "Millennium Development Goals" adopted unanimously by the United Nations in September 2000. Making this finance available, Oxfam noted, is "both a moral obligation and a matter of justice."

This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains excerpts from the summary of the Oxfam report

"Paying the Price: Why rich countries must invest now in a war on poverty." 


For earlier Bulletins on related issues, see
http://www.africafocus.org/econexp.php
This Bulletin also includes a brief update and references to several other sites with related reports released this year.
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Many thanks to those of you who have recently sent in a voluntary subscription payment to support AfricaFocus Bulletin. If you have not yet made such a payment and would like to do so, please visit http://www.africafocus.org/support.php for details.

++++++++++++++++++++++ end editor's note +++++++++++++++++++++++

Related Update and References

Easily lost in the plethora of debates about strategies to reduce poverty is the common-sense notion that providing resources to the poor, including direct cash transfers as well as investments in government programs directly benefitting the poor, does actually tend to work. Of course, the political will to pay for effective programs - and who should pay - is key to determining how much impact such programs actually have.
Reports this year making this point from a variety of perspectives include:
  • A report just released by South Africa's Department of Social Development on "The Social and Economic Impact of South Africa's Social Security System." ( http://www.epri.org.za/papers.htm) shows that despite the debate about ongoing poverty in South Africa (see http://www.africafocus.org/docs04/big0411.php), that country's existing programs of old-age insurance, disability, and child welfare grants have significant impact on reducing poverty, "regardless of which methodology is used to quantify the impact measure or identify the poverty line." 
  • The Chronic Poverty Report 2004-05, produced by the UK-based Chronic Poverty Research Centre (http://www.chronicpoverty.org) and including detailed studies on Africa as well as other world regions, noted that "prioritizing livelihood security" for chronically poor persons must take priority in order to insure that they have the minimum resources necessary for survival and taking advantage of economic opportunities.
  • The Shanghai conference of the World Bank in May 2004 on "Scaling Up Poverty Reduction" emphasized case studies of successful interventions in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, most featuring effective use of public investment rather than the macroeconomic prescriptions most commonly stressed in Bank prescriptions for African countries. See http://www.worldbank.org/wbi/reducingpoverty
  • A July 2004 paper from the Center for Global Development, "Counting Chickens when They Hatch," ( http://www.cgdev.org/Publications/?PubID=130) showed that many studies of the effects of aid failed to show impact because they incorrectly included aid for non-developmental or long-term goals. Limiting the study to short-term development aid that could plausibly be expected to have such impact, the study showed significant impact in increasing growth. 
  •  

 

Africa Progress Report 2014: Grain, Fish, Money

Summary
"Africa is a land of opportunity ... business opportunities are there, growth is there and the population is there." - President Macky Sall, Senegal, January 2014
"Families have lived off fish for generations ... but fish stocks have been reduced. Our revenues have come down. We used to be able to save a bit for our children's education or to fix our boats but it has now become harder to make ends meet." Issa Fall, Fisherman Committee, Soumbedioune, Senegal, January 2014 

These two views from one country in Africa tell very different stories. President Macky Sall was speaking about his government's "Emergent Senegal" investment plan - a multibillion-dollar strategy for transforming the country's infrastructure. Ten years ago Senegal was still in the grip of a debt crisis. Now it is able to sell sovereign debt on eurobond markets. The economy is gaining strength, exports are growing and Senegal is emerging as a regional hub for transport, logistics and tourism. 

Then there is the other Senegal - the Senegal of Issa Fall. Along with tens of thousands of artisanal fishers who ply their trade from pirogues, canoes built by hand from local timber, his livelihood is under threat. The ocean off West Africa is one of the world's richest fishing grounds. Yet catches are declining, along with the income they generate. The reason: illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by commercial fleets from other countries. Senegal lacks the capacity to monitor the activities of these fleets. Until recently, it also lacked the political will to tackle the problem. Leaders and business interests actively colluded in, and benefited from, the illegal sale of permits to foreign fleets. 

Senegal's experience is a microcosm of a wider story. For more than a decade, Africa's economies have been doing well, according to graphs that chart the growth of GDP, exports and foreign investment. The experience of Africa's people has been more mixed. Viewed from the rural areas and informal settlements that are home to most Africans, the economic recovery looks less impressive. Some - like the artisanal fishermen of West Africa - have been pushed to the brink of destitution. For others, growth has brought extraordinary wealth. Africa is now home to some of the world's fastest-growing markets for luxury goods - and signs of the new prosperity are increasingly visible alongside reminders of the old problem of poverty. 

Africa stands at a crossroads. Economic growth has taken root across much of the region. Exports are booming, foreign investment is on the rise and dependence on aid is declining. Governance reforms are transforming the political landscape. Democracy, transparency and accountability have given Africa's citizens a greater voice in decisions that affect their lives. 

These are encouraging developments. Yet the progress in reducing poverty, improving people's lives and putting in place the foundations for more inclusive and sustainable growth has been less impressive. Governments have failed to convert the wealth created by economic growth into the opportunities that all Africans can exploit to build a better future. The time has come to set a course towards more inclusive growth and fairer societies. 

This year's Africa Progress Report addresses some of the central challenges facing Africa's governments. We share the view that there is much cause for optimism. Demography, globalization, new technologies and changes in the environment for business are combining to create opportunities for development that were absent before the economic recovery. However, optimism should not give way to the exuberance now on display in some quarters. Governments urgently need to make sure that economic growth doesn't just create wealth for some, but improves wellbeing for the majority. 

Above all, that means strengthening the focus on Africa's greatest and most productive assets, the region's farms and fisheries. This report calls for more effective protection, management and mobilization of the continent's vast ocean and forest resources. This protection is needed to support transformative growth. The achievements of the past decade and a half should not be understated. Economic growth has increased average incomes by around one-third. On the current growth trajectory, incomes will double over the next 22 years. Once synonymous with macroeconomic mismanagement and economic stagnation, Africa now hosts some of the world's fastest-growing economies. When it comes to growth, Ethiopia rivals China, and Zambia outpaces India. Contrary to a widespread misperception, there is more to the growth record than oil and minerals - and more than exports and foreign investment. African business groups have emerged as a powerful force for change in their own right, in areas such as banking, agro-processing, telecommunications and construction. 

For the first time in a generation, poverty is falling - but it is falling far too slowly. The benefits of growth are trickling down to Africa's poor but at a desperately slow pace. Next year, African governments will join the wider international community in adopting post-2015 international development goals. One of those goals will be the eradication of poverty by 2030. On current trends, Africa will miss that goal by a wide margin. Why is growth reducing poverty so slowly? Partly because Africa's poor are very poor: those below the poverty line of US$1.25 a day live on an average of just 70 cents a day. And partly because high levels of initial inequality mean that it takes a lot of growth to reduce poverty even by a little. Raising the growth trajectory by 2 percentage points per capita and modest redistribution in favour of the poor would get Africa within touching distance of eradicating poverty by 2030. 

Well-designed social protection programmes could play a vital role by protecting vulnerable people against the risks that come with droughts, illness and other shocks. By transferring cash, they can also raise income levels. Experience in other regions - especially Latin America - demonstrates that social protection can simultaneously help to reduce poverty and inequality, and boost growth in agriculture. Yet Africa underinvests in this vital area - and few governments have developed integrated programmes. By contrast, they spend around 3 per cent of GDP on energy subsidies, most of which go to the rich - three times the level of support provided for social protection. It is hard to imagine a more misplaced set of priorities. 

If Africa is to develop a more dynamic and inclusive pattern of growth, there is no alternative to a strengthened focus on agriculture. Sub-Saharan Africa is a region of smallholder farmers. Some people mistakenly see that as a source of weakness and inefficiency. We see it as a strength and potential source of growth. 

Africa's farmers have an unrivalled capacity for resilience and innovation. Operating with no fertilizer, pesticide or irrigation on fragile soils in rain-fed areas, usually with little more than a hoe, they have suffered from a combination of neglect and disastrously misplaced development strategies. Few constituencies can have received more bad advice from development partners and governments than African farmers. And few of the world's farmers are as poorly served by infrastructure, financial systems, scientific innovation or access to markets. The results are reflected in low levels of productivity: cereals yields are well under half the world average.
Agriculture remains the Achilles' heel of Africa's development success story. Low levels of productivity trap millions of farmers in poverty, act as a brake on growth, and weaken links between the farm and non-farm economy - links that were crucial to development breakthroughs in Bangladesh, India and Vietnam. Low productivity has another consequence that has received far too little attention. Africa's farmers could feed rapidly growing urban populations and generate exports to meet demand in global markets. However, the region is increasingly and, in our view, dangerously dependent on imports. African countries spent US$35 billion on food imports (excluding fish) in 2011. The share accounted for by intra-African trade: less than 5 per cent. If Africa's farmers increased their productivity and substituted these imports with their own produce, this would provide a powerful impetus to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and supporting a more inclusive pattern of growth. 

It is time for African governments and the wider international community to initiate a uniquely African green revolution. We emphasize the word unique. Copying South Asia's experience and retracing the steps of other regions is not a viable strategy. Agricultural conditions in Africa are different. Yet Africa desperately needs the scientific innovations in drought-resistant seeds, in higher-yielding varieties and in water use, fertilizer and pesticide that helped to transform agriculture in other regions. Returns on investments in these key areas will be diminished if deeprooted policy failures are not tackled. These range from exorbitant transport costs for farm produce to underinvestment in storage and marketing infrastructure and barriers to intraregional trade. 

African farmers also need help to cope with the effects of climate change, which is very likely to lead to above-average warming in Africa over the course of the 21st century, reducing the yields of major cereal crops. Yields of maize, a major regional food crop, are expected to fall by around 22 per cent. The fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change identifies Southern Africa, West Africa and the Sahel as regions facing acute known risks. However, no region will be unaffected. Even modest changes in the timing and intensity of rainfall, in the frequency and duration of droughts, and surface temperature can have profoundly damaging consequences for production, poverty and nutrition. 

All of which makes the international community's failure to provide adequate adaptation financing indefensible. Having promised much, rich countries have provided little new and additional climate adaptation financing. Commitments through climate funds are less than US$700 million - and spending is even lower. This is unjust and short-sighted. It is unjust because Africa's farmers are being left to cope with a climate crisis they did not create. Adaptation spending in Africa is dwarfed by the multibillion-dollar investments being undertaken in rich countries. And underinvestment in adaptation is short-sighted because early investments could boost growth, enhance food security and reduce climate risks. 

Harnessing Africa's resources for African development is another priority. In last year's report, Equity in Extractives, we highlighted the damaging consequences of tax evasion and loss of revenue through undervaluation of mineral resource assets. This year we turn our attention to renewable resources, focusing on fisheries and logging. There are some striking parallels with tax evasion. In each case, Africa is being integrated through trade into markets characterized by high levels of illegal and unregulated activity. In each case resources that should be used for investment in Africa are being plundered through the activities of local elites and foreign investors. And in each case African governments and the wider international community are failing to put in place the multilateral rules needed to combat what is a global collective action problem.
The social, economic and human consequences are devastating. On a conservative estimate, illegal and unregulated fishing costs West Africa alone US$1.3 billion a year. The livelihoods of artisanal fishing people are being destroyed, Africa is losing a vital source of protein and nutrition, and opportunities to enter higher valueadded areas of world trade are being lost. Unregistered industrial trawlers and ports at which illegal catches are unloaded are the economic equivalent of mining companies evading taxes and offshore tax havens. The underlying problems are widely recognized. Yet international action to solve those problems has relied on voluntary codes of conduct that are often widely ignored. The same is true of logging activity, with the forests of West and Central Africa established as hot-spots for the plunder of timber resources. 

Placing Africa on a transformative pathway will require investing in inclusive growth. 

Infrastructure is one priority. No region has lessdeveloped road networks and energy systems than Africa. Changing this picture will require significant up-front capital spending, prefaced by the development of bankable proposals and the emergence of new business models. The current financing gap has been estimated at around US$48 billion. Much emphasis has been placed on the development of "new and innovative" financing to close that gap, including the use of aid to attract private investment. Unfortunately, the delivery of real finance has been less impressive than the hype surrounding the relentless proliferation of new initiatives. Part of the problem is a failure to invest sufficiently in building the capacity of African governments to develop infrastructure projects.
Africa's financial systems are another constraint on growth. No region has a lower level of access to financial services. Only one in five Africans have any form of account at a formal financial institution, with the poor, rural dwellers and women facing the greatest disadvantage. Such financial exclusion undermines opportunities for reducing poverty and boosting growth that benefits all. Lacking access to insurance, Africa's farmers have to put their meagre savings into contingency funds to deal with emergencies, rather than investing them in boosting productivity. Similarly, lacking access to loans and saving institutions, they are often unable to respond to market opportunities. 

Other weaknesses in domestic financing have to be addressed as a matter of urgency. At one level, the regional financing environment has been transformed. Ten years ago, countries across Africa were still emerging from the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative. Today, many of the same countries have entered sovereign bond markets. But Africa cannot meet its financing needs in infrastructure and skills development through aid and commercial market debt financing alone. That is why there is no substitute for domestic financing. Unfortunately, economic growth has done little to increase either the rate of savings or the proportion of GDP that is collected in domestic tax revenues - outcomes that point to the need for institutional reforms. 


Recommendations 

In this report we document some of the great development challenges facing Africa. Meeting these challenges will not be easy. Yet Africa's political leaders, entrepreneurs, farmers and civil society have an unparalleled opportunity to transform their countries. If that opportunity is seized, this could be the generation that will be lauded throughout history for eradicating poverty. We set out in this report a broad-based agenda for change. At the heart of that agenda are five core principles, for each of which we identify the necessary practical action. 

Share the wealth
Inclusive growth and expanded opportunity are essential to eradicate poverty. African governments should set equity targets linked to the post-2015 development goals. These targets would focus on narrowing gaps in opportunity. For example, they could include halving over five years the disparities in school attendance, child survival and access to basic services linked to rural-urban divides, wealth gaps and gender divisions. Strengthening the commitment to inclusive growth demands an expansion of social protection, including cash transfers to the poor. Governments should be diverting some of the 3 per cent of regional GDP they now devote to energy subsidies into welldesigned social protection programmes. 

Invest in Africa's unique green revolution
African governments, the private sector and the global community must work together to invest in Africa's unique green revolution. 

It is possible to double Africa's agricultural productivity within five years. As outlined by the African Union, African countries can end hunger and malnutrition and become major players in global food markets. It is also vital to unleash the potential of sustainable agriculture and aquaculture to provide food, jobs and export earnings. Some of the requirements for achieving a breakthrough in agriculture are financial. Now is the time for governments to act on their pledge to spend at least 10 per cent of budget resources on agriculture. But governments also have to create the right market conditions. An immediate priority is the promotion of import substitution to cut Africa's US$35 billion food import bill. This will require measures to cut tariffs and non-tariff barriers to regional trade, eliminate transport cartels, and develop marketing infrastructure. 

Take the profit out of plunder
Africa's resources should be sustainably managed for the benefit of Africa's peoples. National and regional action alone will not be enough. The international community must develop multilateral systems that prevent the plunder of Africa's resources. 

Fisheries: The global community must act collectively to unleash a blue revolution for ocean management. To stop the plunder of African fishery resources, all governments should ratify and implement the 2009 Port State Measures Agreement to tackle illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and establish a global register of fishing vessels. African governments should increase fines on IUU vessels, support artisanal fishing, increase transparency, and provide full disclosure of the terms on which commercial fishing permits are issued. 

Forests: All commercial logging concession contracts should be subject to full disclosure, along with the beneficial ownership structures of the companies involved. Concessions should be provided with the informed consent of the communities involved, based on a clear and accurate representation of potential costs and benefits. 

Close the twin deficit in infrastructure and inclusive finance
African governments must close the twin deficit in infrastructure and inclusive finance. The lack of infrastructure is a bottleneck on growth and opportunity. The same is true of finance. Regional cooperation on energy and transport is vital in order to achieve economies of scale in infrastructure projects. African governments can also support the development of mobile banking and e-commerce to overcome financial exclusion, building on successes such as M-PESA in Kenya. Development finance institutions should work with the private sector to foster more balanced perceptions of risk. 

Make tax and finance more fair and transparent
Strengthened domestic resource mobilization holds the key to financing for inclusive growth, with African governments investing in efficient and equitable tax collection. Governments should publish in a transparent manner all tax exemptions that are granted to corporate entities, both domestic and foreign. The estimated cost of the tax exemption should be made public, along with the reasons for the exemption and the principle beneficiaries. 

The international community must step up efforts to combat tax evasion. Multinational corporations operating in Africa should fully disclose their financial operations and tax payments. Building on current initiatives, governments should accelerate the automatic exchange of tax information and build Africa's capacity to benefit from this information. All governments, including those of financially secretive jurisdictions, should establish public registries of beneficial ownership of companies and trusts. Multinational corporations can lead the way by publishing a full list of their subsidiaries, as well as information on global revenues, profits and taxes paid across different jurisdictions. 

The international community should also deliver on its aid pledge - and go one step further by cutting the cost of remittances. The G8 should work with African governments to cut the cost of remittance transfers to a maximum of 5 per cent. That means curtailing restrictive business practices on the part of money transfer operators, strengthening competition, and creating incentives for the development of low-fee mobile remittance payments. 

- See more at: http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/app1405.php#sthash.cEkbhkij.dpuf

 

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Paying the Price: Why rich countries must invest now in a war on poverty

Oxfam International
December 2004
[Excerpts from report summary. A press release and the full report are available at http://www.oxfam.org/eng/pr041206_MDG.htm.]

In 2005, the leaders of rich countries have the opportunity to lift millions of people out of poverty. At the G8 Summit, at the UN Special Session on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and at a ministerial conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), trade rules, aid, and the unsustainable debt of developing countries - issues critical to the future of the world's poorest people - will be up for discussion. But will world leaders deliver on their rhetoric? In 2000, rich countries made a commitment to play their part in ensuring that the MDGs are met - but their promises remain unfulfilled. Five years later, they should ensure that a new round of international summitry becomes a platform for action.

The Millennium Development Goals, chosen on the grounds that they were realistic and achievable, are a commitment by global leaders to halve poverty and hunger, provide education for all, improve standards of health, halt the spread of major diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and slow down environmental degradation by 2015.

A vital aim of these goals is that the poorest countries will have the finance needed to achieve them. To do this, rich countries have promised to provide a very small fraction of their wealth - just 0.7 per cent of their national income - and to improve the way in which they give aid, to make it work best for poverty reduction, and to end the burden of debt which means that low-income countries must pay out $100 million every day to their creditors. For rich-country donors, making this finance available is not simply an act of charity: it is a both a moral obligation and a matter of justice - born of a collective duty to guarantee the rights of all citizens, and the responsibility of rich countries to recognise their role in creating the debt crisis which continues to threaten the prospects of poor countries. A failure to meet these obligations also has consequences for rich countries themselves, with global poverty threatening the prosperity and security of the entire international community.

Time for action to meet the MDGs is running out, yet progress has been unforgivably slow. Only one goal halving income poverty has any chance of being met, but even this is due to progress in just a handful of countries. The first target - enrolling all girls in primary and secondary school by 2005 - is certain to be missed. The poorest people will pay the price for this failure. If the world fails to act to meet even these minimal goals, and current trends are allowed to continue,
  • 45 million more children will die between now and 2015
  • 247 million more people in sub-Saharan Africa will be living on less than $1 a day in 2015
  • 97 million more children will still be out of school in 2015
  • 53 million more people in the world will lack proper sanitation facilities.
Tackling global poverty requires more than money: poor countries' prospects are also undermined by unfair trade rules, the violent consequences of the arms trade, and the impacts of global warming. Poor-country governments must also fulfil their commitments to fight poverty. But, without finance, these countries will not be able to take advantage of global trade and investment opportunities, or protect their citizens' basic rights to life, good health, and education.

The sums that rich countries invest in global poverty reduction are shamefully small. At an average of $80 per person per year in rich countries, the sum is equivalent to the price of a weekly cup of coffee. What is more, the wealthier these countries have become, the less they have given in aid. Rich countries today give half as much, as a proportion of their income, as they did in the 1960s. In 1960-65, rich countries spent on average 0.48 per cent of their combined national incomes on aid. By 1980-85 they were spending just 0.34 per cent. By 2003, the average had dropped as low as 0.24 per cent.

It is no surprise that vital poverty-reduction programmes are failing for lack of finance. Cambodia and Tanzania are among the poorest countries in the world, yet they require at least double the level of external financing that they currently receive if they are to achieve their poverty-reduction targets. Global initiatives to support poor countries to achieve universal education and combat HIV/AIDS are starved of cash. Despite the fact that HIV infection rates are rising in sub-Saharan Africa, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria is assured of only one quarter of the funds that it needs for 2005. And poor countries continue to pay out more to their creditors than they spend on essential public services. Low-income countries paid $39 billion to service their debts in 2003, while they received only $27 billion in aid. As a result, countries such as Zambia spend more on debt servicing than they spend on education.

The price is small

Meeting the UN target of allocating just 0.7 per cent of national income to aid - a target set in 1970 - would generate $120 billion, enough to meet the MDGs and other vital poverty-reduction goals. But only five of the 22 major donors - none of them from the seven most powerful nations (the G7) - are meeting that target. In the last year, the UK and Spain have set themselves firm timetables to reach the target of 0.7. But 12 donors still have no timetable to get there ...

Rich countries can easily afford to deliver the necessary aid and debt relief. For rich countries, spending 0.7 per cent of their national income on aid is equal to a mere one-fifth of their expenditure on defence and one half of their expenditure on domestic farm subsidies. The USA (at just 0.14 per cent, the least generous donor in terms of aid as a proportion of its national income) is spending more than twice as much on the war in Iraq as it would cost to increase its aid budget to 0.7 per cent, and six times more on its military programme.

Nor is 0.7 per cent very great when compared with the priorities of global consumers, who spend $33 billion each year on cosmetics and perfume - significantly more than the $20 25 billion required for Africa to meet the MDG targets.

Cancelling the debts of 32 of the poorest countries would also be small change for the rich nations. The cost to the richest countries would amount to $1.8 billion each year over the next ten years or on average a mere $2.10 for each of their citizens every year. If Italy and the USA were to pay their fair shares, it would cost each of their citizens $1.20 per year. Meanwhile, the IMF holds the third-largest gold reserve in the world - a reserve that is neither needed nor used in full. Revaluation or sale of the gold could raise more than $30 billion - more than would be needed to cancel the remaining debts to the IMF and World Bank of all the countries eligible for relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative.

Aid works

And aid works. Millions of children are in school in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, and Zambia, thanks to money provided by debt relief and aid. For the same reason, Ugandans no longer have to pay for basic health care, a policy which resulted in an increase of 50 to 100 per cent in attendance at Ugandan health clinics and doubled the rate of immunisations. Roads built with foreign aid mean that Ethiopian farmers have the potential to reach local and international markets to sell their crops more easily, while children in rural areas can travel to schools more easily, and people can reach hospitals more quickly which is often a critical factor affecting maternal and infant mortality rates. ...

History also shows that aid has been vital in eradicating global diseases. From the late 1960s, more than $100 million was targeted to eradicate smallpox a feat achieved worldwide by 1980. And aid has been essential in rebuilding countries shattered by war. In Mozambique, financial support from UN agencies, bilateral donors, and NGOs facilitated a process of national reconciliation, peacefully repatriating nearly two million refugees, disarming 96,000 former soldiers, and clearing landmines.

Countries now considered 'developed' would not enjoy their current standards of living if it had not been for aid. After World War II, 16 western European nations benefited from grants from the USA worth more than $75 billion in today's terms - grants which underpinned their economic recovery and hence created today's peace and prosperity. US aid also financed mass education and imports of essential goods to South Korea and Taiwan, laying the foundations for their rapid future growth, while European Union Structural Funds have supported growth in Spain and other southern European countries.

But today's poorest countries - even those where it has been shown that aid can be used productively - have yet to see the necessary aid extended to them. Meanwhile, marginalised from the global economy, their access to other forms of external finance is limited. For the foreseeable future, aid will and should be the means to offset the lack of finance available for the poorest countries and communities. ...

and it could work even better

However, rich-country donors need to make aid work better if poverty is to be significantly reduced. Increases in aid budgets can and must go hand-in-hand with improvements in the way that aid is delivered.
When aid-giving becomes politicised, poor people lose out - but many donors' priorities are still determined by their own strategic interests. Two top recipients of French aid - French Polynesia and New Caledonia - and one top recipient of US aid - Israel - are high-income countries. The 'war on terror' threatens to divert aid away from those who need it most. Aid is again being used as a political tool, with one-third of the increase in aid in 2002 resulting from large allocations to Afghanistan and Pakistan. ...

Too often domestic interests take precedence: almost 30 per cent of G7 aid money is tied to an obligation to buy goods and services from the donor country. The practice is not only self-serving, but highly inefficient; yet it is employed widely by Italy and the USA. Despite donors' agreements to untie aid to the poorest countries, only six of the 22 major donor countries have almost or completely done so.

The management burden and uncertainty of aid delivery that many donors create weakens the effectiveness of the governments that they aim to support. In Tanzania in 2002-03, the government received 275 donor missions, 123 from the World Bank alone, demanding time-consuming attention by scarce skilled personnel. An Oxfam survey of donor practices across 11 developing countries in 2004 found as follows.
  • In 52 per cent of reported cases, donors' procedures mean that government officials spend 'too much' or 'excessive' amounts of time in reporting to donors. The World Bank and the USA were named as the worst donors according to this criterion.
  • Developing-country governments should expect delays. Only in one in three cases does aid arrive on time - and the European Commission is rated the worst offender, with one-fifth of its aid arriving more than one year late.
  • Aid may be here today, but it could be gone tomorrow. In 70 per cent of cases, donors commit aid for three years or less - even though, in order to guarantee a complete primary education for one generation of children, funding would be needed for six years.
The administrative problem is compounded when donors attach large numbers of detailed conditions to their funding. Oxfam's analysis of World Bank loan conditions, for instance, found that the Bank requires governments of countries such as Ethiopia to carry out approximately 80 policy changes per year. Tanzania's donors between them dictate that the country should carry out 78 policy reforms in one year. This practice undermines countries' ability to choose their own reform paths, meaning that aid money is less likely to support sustainable reforms, adapted to suit local circumstances. Such conditions are rarely based on independent assessments of their impact on people living in poverty. ...

Rich-country and multilateral donors have committed themselves to change their practices. In 2003 they signed the Rome Declaration: a clear statement of intent to reform the delivery of aid. Some are making progress, mostly by collaborating to deliver joint funds directly to sector ministries or government treasuries; but others lag behind, as demonstrated by the Oxfam survey. While donors are quick to hold governments to account for their use of aid, there is as yet very little done to hold donors to account for their management of aid. Initiatives such as independent monitoring or recipient-government reviews of donor practice occur largely on an ad hoc and voluntary basis.

Ensuring that Southern governments deliver development

Developing countries, as well as donors, have a responsibility to meet the MDGs. And well-functioning and poverty-focused governments can of course make the best use of aid. This means combating corruption, building strong and accountable public sectors which have the necessary staff to deliver vital services, and ensuring that parliaments, civil society, and the media can monitor public spending and act as watchdogs against corruption.

There has been substantial progress in the performance and accountability of many poor-country governments. Democracy is taking root in sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, with elections held in 44 out of 50 countries in the past decade, while independent TV and radio stations are being established across the continent. And civil-society groups are increasingly calling governments to account: in Malawi, education groups now check whether schools receive the textbooks and chalk promised to them in the government budget, and they report their findings in the media and in parliament.

But obviously in many countries there is a long way to go: developing-country governments, for instance, must increase the amount of money devoted to basic social services, in line with a UN recommendation to spend at least 20 per cent on these sectors. The practice of charging user fees for basic education and health services should be abolished.

Donors can play their part in furthering these developments. This includes not ignoring corruption, but tackling it by investing in a strong and efficient public sector and removing the global incentives tax havens and weak regulation that allow corruption to flourish. Creating donor-led structures outside governments, or avoiding certain countries altogether, can be counter-productive merely serving to weaken them further. And such strategies risk diverting money away from those in the global community who need it most.

In 2005, Oxfam will form part of the 'Global Call for Action Against Poverty' coalition, aiming to make poverty history. The call unites a huge range of groups from South and North, including national and regional civil-society networks, trade unions, faith communities, and international organisations. It is a chance for millions of people to tell world leaders that poverty is an injustice that is not inevitable. 10 This report is part of Oxfam's call to action in 2005. In it, Oxfam's key recommendations in relation to aid and debt are as follows:

All donor members of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) should adopt the following measures.

Increase finance for poverty reduction:
  • Cancel 100 per cent of the debt of the poorest countries where relief is needed to enable them to reach the MDGs: both bilateral debt, and the debts owed to the World Bank and African Development Bank.
  • Provide at least $50 billion in aid immediately, in addition to existing aid budgets, and set binding timetables in 2005 to ensure that the 0.7 per cent target is met in all donor countries by 2010.
  • In addition to giving 0.7 per cent of national income as aid, support innovative mechanisms such as the International Finance Facility (IFF) and international taxation to ensure immediate and sustainable development financing.
Make aid work best for poverty reduction:
  • Fully implement Rome Declaration commitments to improve the delivery of aid and completely untie aid, including types of assistance omitted from DAC recommendations, namely food aid and Technical Assistance.
  • Restrict the use of conditions to requirements for financial accountability and broadly agreed goals on poverty reduction and gender equity.

The World Bank and IMF should take the following actions.

  • Cancel 100 per cent of the debts owed to them by the poorest countries where relief is needed to enable them to reach the MDGs; finance this measure by revaluing IMF gold reserves and using the resources thus generated.
  • Restrict the use of conditions to requirements for financial accountability measures and broadly agreed goals on poverty reduction and gender equity.

Developing-country governments should take the following measures.

  • Demonstrate their commitment to poverty reduction by meeting the UN recommendation to spend 20 per cent of public budgets on basic social services, and transparently directing the money to benefit poor people.
  • Institutionalise, through legislation if necessary, parliamentary and civil- society participation in the making and implementation of policies that will benefit poor people, also guaranteeing civil and political rights to free and fair elections, freedom of expression, and the rule of law. 
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