The G8 have a long standing commitment to Africa's development and Africa is again a priority on the agenda of the G8 summit in Heiligendamm. As African governments continue the necessary reforms, development partners are working on the timely and coordinated implementation of their commitments. Yet as we reach the halfway date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) it is clear that stronger efforts are required by all actors.
The G8 have strongly supported the emergence of a new institutional landscape on the African continent, centering around the African Union (AU), its NEPAD program, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and a strengthened African Development Bank (AfDB) as well as new pillars of Pan-African governance, like the Pan-African Parliament, the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). As new actors have become increasingly involved in Africa, the APF and OECD/DAC could provide a good platform for dialogue. The G8 are making progress at full coordination with national and regional development policies and the implementation of the Paris Agenda.
26 countries have signed up to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) process to which some G8 partners have contributed financially and assisted individual countries during their peer reviews. Three countries have completed the process with reviews launched in 13 other countries. G8 members have supported democratic processes, including through carrying out electoral observation missions. Some G8 partners have supported the World Bank Gender Action Plan focusing on economic empowerment of women as a tool for promoting gender equality. G8 members have supported state and non-state actors in the implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) ratified by more than 40 African states. Some G8 partners have supported the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), now involving 18 African countries, with US$7.5 million, and others intend to join the EITI donors group.
The G8 have focused on a variety of measures facilitating economic growth and investment in Africa including microfinance, assistance for institutions for private sector development and support for structural reforms aimed at improving the business environment. The G8 have agreed to continue to support initiatives, either individually and collectively, which address the investment climate, such as Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) for Africa, the Foreign Investment Advisory Service of the IFC, the NEPAD-OECD Africa Investment Initiative and the Investment Climate Facility (ICF). The G8 have increased resources and financial contributions to the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA), which promotes efficiency through improved donor coordination. It is vital that there is a successful conclusion to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations of the Doha trade round and progress is made towards duty and quota free access for LDCs, simplifying Rules of Origin, and on the commitments for 'aid for trade'. The G8 should increase their support for the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP).
The international community has promised to work towards the goal of Universal Access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010. We must renew efforts to address the feminisation of the pandemic, including addressing mother to child transmission. To date, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) has committed US$ 7.6 billion in 136 countries. It will require the necessary multi-year contributions in coordination with other donors to continue work effectively. The G8 must support African efforts to strengthen health systems more broadly, including through support for long-term plans and better institutional coordination. On education, 19 African countries have had their education plans endorsed under the Education for All-Fast Track Initiative (EFA-FTI) and as at May 2007 14 are receiving funding to implement their plans. The G8 should reaffirm its efforts to help FTI-endorsed countries to develop sustainable capacity and identify the resources to pursue their sustainable educational strategies.
The G8 stressed the importance of working with developing countries on climate change issues and the implementation of adaptation strategies. The G8 will support facilitating the access to water and sanitation as well as energy. The G8 also need to assist in the transition to clean energy through support for the African components of the Clean Energy Investment Framework, and explore options to increase African participation in clean energy investment flows. The G8 support Africa in promoting sustainable, affordable and secure energy supply and energy use as well as cooperation towards sustainable management and biodiversity conservation.
Many African countries are already benefiting from 100% debt cancellation under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). Under MDRI, 18 African countries have already received 100% debt relief, and another 15 African countries will receive similar debt cancellation when they reach the required standards. We will continue to work with other donors at fulfilling the Gleneagles commitment to double aid to Africa - an additional $25 billion as part of an OECD estimated global annual increase of $50 billion by 2010.
We regard ourselves as strong partners for Africa and will continue to work at fulfilling our commitment towards Africa. African reforms will only be successful if backed by solid African ownership, at Pan-African, regional and national level. We want to develop this partnership further. We need to continue to work on mechanisms of cooperation, institutionally and instrumentally, in line with African ownership and the Paris Agenda approach. The APF should be established and further strengthened as the overarching high-level political dialogue forum to identify areas for joint action and act as a platform for mutual accountability. At the 8th APF in Berlin, we have jointly with our African partners discussed important recommendations regarding climate change, investment, peace and security as well as gender equality. We as APRs need to strengthen our collective action to fulfil the potential of the G8-Africa dialogue.
Source:Official G8 website of the Federal Government of Germany