Featured Content, Report of G8 Media Briefing on Africa
Wednesday, June 9, 2004
Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of National Security Council on African Affairs, Jendayi Frazer, and Assistant Administrator of the Bureau of Africa US Agency for International development, Constance Newman, met with reporters on Wednesday afternoon at the G8 Summit. They provided the press with a pre-brief on the Africa Outreach Launch scheduled to take place Thursday afternoon between the G8 leaders and their African counterparts - the presidents of Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Ganna, Algeria, and Uganda, all representing the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
The issues that will be discussed at the closed door meeting are how to attract private sector-led growth in Africa to attract investment, how to expand the trade relationship, how to foster cooperation between the G8 countries and their African counterparts in building a health infrastructure, and how to better coordinate with one another on peace and security issues.
As a Bush aid, Ms. Frazer emphasized that "The theme of this G8 is to advance freedom by strengthening international cooperation to make the world safer and better." She also emphasized the fact that the commitment made by the US at the 2002 Kananaskis summit was being followed through on by President Bush's policies as first seen in the US's commitment to Development and Poverty alleviation as seen in the Millenium Challenge Account and the US's fiscal commitments over the next 5 years. The follow up on the commitments at Kananaskis wiith respect to health are materializing in terms of the increased priority of health challenges and infrastructure, evidenced by President Bush's approach to HIV/Aids and his goal to address the pandemic via the global vaccine initiative. The second main commitment, on peace and security, is materializing in the East Africa counter-terrorism initiative to which the US has pledged a good deal of support, and on the G8 commitment to global peacekeeping.
Constance Newman then took over the discussion and outlined the steps taken by G8 members bilaterally or multilaterally in their approach to the Africa Action Plan, initiated at Kananaskis. She affirmed that the plan had been sufficiently addressed at the Evian Summit and that this meeting between G8 leaders and the members of NEPAD is following through on their previous goals. The actual commitments, although outlined here, will not be formally made until the press conference following Thursday's meeting and launch of the Africa Action Plan.
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