Tony Blair announced last night that he has decided to convene a panel of world leaders from all sectors to ensure that aid and debt relief promises to Africa are being kept. This will be called the Africa Progress Panel. It will measure progress against the commitments made to and by Africa at the Gleneagles and other G8 and UN summits, towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. It will also uphold the international profile of Africa, achieved in 2005, and encourage further progress in the upliftment of our continent.
Kofi Annan will chair the Panel and Bob Geldof and President Obasanjo of Nigeria will be two of the panelists. Bill Gates will be a major funder.
As Chairperson of the Board of the African Monitor, whose aim is also to monitor aid and development in Africa from a civil society perspective, I welcome the establishment of the Africa Progress Panel.
We deeply appreciate Tony Blair’s commitment to keep Africa and issues affecting Africa on top of his agenda. It is critically important that voices from all over Africa are included in that process. This is what the African Monitor will bring to the table. Our logo is: ‘African Voices for Africa’s Development’. We therefore look forward to working together with the Panel.
We also welcome Tony Blair’s request for an additional session on Africa at the forthcoming G8 meeting. This is in line with our objective: keeping Africa on top of the world agenda.
We fully endorse Blair’s statement: ‘I have seen that if there is real commitment by African governments to progress, then their people will do the rest’. African Monitor aims to help people ‘do the rest’.
For further information please contact Penny Lorimer, Media Liaison for Archbishop Ndungane, on +27 (0)82 894-1522 or on +27 (0)21 761-2531 (8.30am – 12.30pm).