G8 Information Centre, G8 Online 2004 Program


Featured Content, Report on the Final Africa Briefing

G8 Summit, Sea Island, June 10, 2004
By Montana Burnett

The presidents of six Nepad countries, Algeria, Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda, met with G8 leaders on Sea Island today. President Obasanjo of Nigeria spoke for the duration of the briefing about the need for extensive dialogue between the members of Nepad and the G8 leaders. He outlined that this dialogue began four years ago at the Tokyo summit where Nepad was first established. Since then, there has been significant progress as seen through the Quebec summit and its establishment of the Africa Action Plan to which Canada has pledged one hundred million dollars to date.

President Obasanjo stressed that the dialogue taking place is not one marked by handouts, begging, or condescension, but rather by mutual interest and the want of mutual prosperity. He said, "grinding poverty in one country makes the rest of the world insecure." President Obasanjo also addressed the need to not only eradicate poverty but to also appreciate that mistakes on the part of African leaders have been made in the past in terms of peace and security, and good governance, and that democracy is being embraced wholly to quell further occurrences.

On the issue of granting other African countries access to the Nepad 'club', President Obasanjo said that any leader who is not elected by his/her people would not be admitted. He cited the Cote D'Ivoire's exclusion from Nepad as a concrete example of this policy in action.

On the whole, in President Obasanjo's words, "we've reached the point where we're able to say collectively that the issues of peace and security is something we will work with the G8 on."


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