ACTION PLAN FOR AFRICA
In March 2002 AUF General Secretary Dan Kashagama met and spoke with Ambassador Robert Folwer and with Lawrence Blandford, Deputy Director of G8 Summit Policy and Colleen Pigeon, also of the G8 Summit Policy Office. Robert Fowler is responsible for preparing the 28th G8 Summit in Kananaskis, Canada, in June 2002, and for developing the G8 Action Plan for Africa. The interaction between the AUF representative and the G8 team was positive and productive. The AUF will be preparing papers for review by the G8 Summit organizers.
Ambassador Robert Fowler
The AUF General Secretary expressed to ambassador Robert Fowler the AUF's concern that the G8 was not giving adequate attention and recognition to the African Union. Robert Fowler has the responsibility to draw up a summary for discussion by the Heads of State at the G8 Summit. The AUF General Secretary expressed disappointment that ambassador Fowler had not planned to include the African Union in the summary for discussion. Kashagama asked Ambassador Fowler to include the African Union on the G8 Summit agenda. Ambassador Fowler showed that he has deep respect for African initiatives and a broad understanding of the purpose and processes of the African Union.
The AUF General Secretary suggested that the G8 should consider adopting a Trade Control Policy in order to regulate exports to Africa by G8 countries, and in order to make the G8 more accountable to the African Union especially with regard to the weapons trade. Kashagama explained that the G8 should not be concerned that the trade control policy proposed by the AUF would result in investors taking their money elsewhere, since in fact the Africans in Diaspora already account for 85% of structured Foreign Direct Investment in Africa.
During the meeting with Fowler, Kashagama expressed disappointment about the fact that in spite of their pivotal contributions, African investors do not get acknowledgement and credit for their efforts, and many international discussions about FDI in Africa proceed as if African investors don't exist.
The AUF General Secretary also explained that the African Development Bank favors an AUF proposal to set up a banking mechanism that will restructure and concentrate African remittances in order to increase FDI. The African Union needs to attract Clean FDI that is not dependent on the harmful practices of corrupting Multinational Corporations. Unstructured remittances by Africans in diaspora account for a massive proportion of monetary transfers to the African Union. In some constituent republics of the African Union remittances account for half of the GDP.
Ambassador Fowler spoke about the need for improved Terms of Trade for Africa on the global market, and expressed concern that some of the highest tarrifs are between African states. He also spoke about the need for ODA reforms. He said that administration in Africa was being tied up, for example because donors send 7 (seven) missions every day to Tanzania to monitor how aid is administered. These missions demand the time of government officials who have to show assessors around and answer questions, leaving no time for the regular work of government.
The G8 Summit of 2002 will be attended by the leaders of the eight leading industrial economies, the heads of the European Union, as well as a group of African leaders. The African leaders expected to attend include Thabo Mbeki, Olusegun Obasanjo, Abdulaye Wade, Oumar Konare, and Wiseman Nkhulu, the head of the NEPAD Secretariat. They will be attending the G8 Summit in order to discuss the plans for NEPAD, to review the G8 Action Plan for Africa, to discuss efforts in ending terrorism, as well as how to strengthen global economic growth.
Early in the year, Amara Essy, the Secretary General of the African Union, held meetings with representatives of the G8 group of industrialised nations to brief them on progress being made towards establishing the African Union. Essy met the officials as part of his efforts to build up support during the transition from the OAU to the African Union (AU). "The African Union is a very old dream we want to translate into reality," he said in a press statement released in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, 16 January 2002.
The APA is the formal policy document of the G8 Summit concerning governance and investment in Africa. The G8 leaders will release the Action Plan for Africa after 18 hours of deliberations. The AUF expects to have positive input in the final form of the APA through the G8 Policy Office, as well as in the implementation of the both the APA and NEPAD, and in the fight against terrorism (in line with the AUF Policy on Terrorism), as well as in ODA (Overseas development Assistance) reforms.
The scenic Kananaskis Valley in Alberta, Canada
Dan Kashagama also spoke with officers of the G8 Security Team, Sergeant Darrel Clark of the Calgary Police Service and Sgt. Mike O'Rielly of the Royal Mounted Canadian Police. Darrel Clark is an active organizer and a member of the African community in Calgary.
The CPS and RCMP are in charge of security at the G8 Summit and at Calgary, venue of the G6B Countersummit. The AUF is involved in continuing dialogue with the UN and other organizations, with a view to establishing more appropriate ways for the world community to relate to Africans.