Blair announces commission on Africa’s problems
LONDON: British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced on Thursday a multi-national Commission for Africa to address health, the environment and other issues affecting the continent.
“I have decided with others to form a Commission for Africa to take a fresh look at Africa’s past, present and future,” Blair told reporters during his monthly press conference in London.
Ethiopia, France, South Africa and the United States are among the countries which have agreed to appoint representatives to the body, he said. Also on the commission will be singer and campaigner Sir Bob Geldof, who organised Britain’s 1985 Live Aid pop concert for starving African children. Blair said he wanted the commission to report in the first half of next year on economic problems, education, conflict resolution, health, AIDS, the environment and governance issues. “It will be a comprehensive assessment of the situation in Africa and policies toward Africa — what has worked, what has not worked and what more can and should be done,” the prime minister said..
He added: “I have said on many occasions that I believe Africa is the scar on the conscience of the world.” “And I think it is right that we continue to treat this as an absolute priority over the coming years,” particularly under the current US and upcoming British presidencies of the Group of Eight of leading industrial nations. —AFP