Africa report will call for debt cancellation

Mathew Little

Charities have given a mixed response to leaked revelations from Tony Blair's Commission for Africa report, due to be published this Friday.

In the 400-page report, the commission will call for aid to increase by $25bn over the next three years and 100 per cent debt cancellation for Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a draft.

But the commission, the brainchild of Sir Bob Geldof, will also say that governance is "Africa's core problem". The report recommends that the international community donate $500m a year to "revitalise Africa's institutions of higher education".

ActionAid head of policy Steve Tibbet said the report was a step in the right direction, "but doesn't recognise that the free trade economic model hasn't worked in Africa and ignores the need for corporate regulation".

The Campaign Against Arms Trade said the most significant proposal was the promise to tackle bribery by western corporations, rather than the proposed Arms Trade Treaty.

The World Development Movement bemoaned the report as a "PR exercise for the UK government."

The report will be presented as a briefing paper to the G8 summit in Gleneagles in July.

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