Stop talking and start helping Africa CAFOD urges G8

 Africa desperately needs this month's G8 summit to break a habit and make a serious commitment to the continent's future, says CAFOD. At the end of the month the leaders of the world's most powerful nations will meet in Canada to discuss, amongst other issues, the NEPAD (New partnerships for Africa's development) paper. NEPAD is a wide-ranging proposal drawn up by African leaders for how the developed world and Africa can work together for a brighter future. "Africa has shown its commitment to NEPAD by introducing a range of economic and political reforms as their side of the contract with the world's richest countries," said CAFOD public policy analyst Henry Northover. "But a contract requires two sides to commit and so far the G8 has offered much talk but no action. "Too often the G8 have focused on presentation in the absence of firm commitments on additional resources. It is now time for the G8 to give Africa a chance. African leaders have stretched out their hand - it is time for the world's most powerful leaders to respond by giving Africa the help it desperately needs. Its time for the G8 to stop the rhetoric and put its hand in its pocket." This week the finance ministers of the G8 meet in Halifax, Canada to negotiate the financial backing to NEPAD. Their commitments will determine whether the heads of government Summit in 2 weeks time will be a genuine compact with Africa. Amongst the NEPAD commitments called for from the developed world are further debt relief, increasing and improving aid packages and fairer terms of trade. In return Africa commits to improving democracy, promoting peace, improving its economic frameworks, opening up its markets and cracking down on corruption.

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