Obasanjo lauds Blair's initiative, nudges G8

Sirte- Libya (PANA) -- Nigerian President and African Union Chairman, Olusegun Obasanjo, Monday called for "serious" consideration of the root causes of Africa's socio-economic problems, and for action by the G-8 most industrialised nations due to meet in Gleneagles, Scotland, to assist the continent.
He commended the Report of the Commission for Africa, a body set up by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to address development challenges of the continent.
"The Report has given additional support to, and vindicated our focus and emphasis on the nature, dimension and implications of the crises in Africa.
I commend Prime Minister Blair for his enthusiastic support and frontal attack on poverty and underdevelopment in Africa," Obasanjo said, at the opening session of the 5th Ordinary AU summit here.
The Nigerian leader noted, however, that the report "must be endorsed, owned and well-funded" by the G-8 and other developed countries to prevent it from ending up like previous reports that achieved nothing.
"We must at this (AU) summit, take a collective decision on the need for the developed nations to adopt and own the report while putting up the resources to implement most of its recommendations.
If this is not done, then the report would be nothing more than a goodwill message to Africa, with no substantive support to move the continent forward," Obasanjo said.
He also stressed that it was incumbent upon African leaders to remain resolutely committed to democracy, good governance and the best administrative practices while creating the necessary conducive environment for fast socio-economic progress through political and economic reforms.
   The AU chair commended creditors who have agreed to write off the debts of 14 heavily indebted poor African countries, but pointed out that while the debt relief would free resources for development, the beneficiary nations still needed the necessary "life-lines" to put them on the true path to growth and sustainable development.

04 july 2005 17:27:00




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