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Analytical Studies

Summit Performance Assesments by Issue
Sustainable African Development

Grade: A


G7 members will seek to promote development by placing greater emphasis on integrating the developing world, particularly Africa, into the world economy through the liberalization of trade and investment. In recent years, official development assistance, as provided by members of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD has declined to $59 B, while global private sector capital flows reached as high as $250 B in 1996. As Africa receives only 10% of these private sector resources, and accounts for only 1% of international export totals, there is clearly room for growth. G7 members will stress the promotion of peace and stability, good governance and the combatting of corruption in the developing world, as they are aware that such an environment is a precondition for the expansion of private sector investment in, and trade with poorer countries.

Performance Assessment

The Denver Summit's communique represents a building upon of the Lyon Summit's New Global Partnership for Development, with attention being focussed exclusively on Africa. Although the leaders have expressed support for "[s]ubstantial flows of official development assistance [ODA]" (a wording that is subjective and open to interpretation at best), fifty years of unsuccessful aid efforts have led to the recognition that ODA alone will not bring about development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, whereas ODA will continue to be usefully employed to promote human rights, democracy, good governance, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, and conflict prevention, it is also asserted that "a crucial tool for fostering economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa" is the integration of the poorest countries into the world economy through the liberalization of trade and investment policies within both the developed and developing world's. Toward that end, the G7 leaders committed themselves to improving Africa's access to their markets through "various means" including the adoption of an upcoming World Trade Organization plan of action. Nonetheless, since no specific trade expansion goals or tariff reduction targets were provided for in the communique, the Denver Summit's significant meeting of the above objective could not be given a grade higher than "A".

Prepared by: Suzanne Murphy and Jason Krausert

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