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The Commission for Africa finds the condition of the lives of the majority of Africans to be intolerable and an affront to the dignity of all mankind. We insist upon an alteration of these conditions through a change of policy in favour of the weak.
Having analysed and costed how this may be achieved, we call for our conclusions to be implemented forthwith in the cause of right and justice and in the name of our shared humanity.
On the edge of this new century, in an age of unprecedented wealth and economic progress by all continents, it is unacceptable that Africa drifts further from the rest of the world, unseen in its misery and ignored in its pain.
The Commission, its members acting in their capacity as individuals, has assimilated the analysis of years and all extant reports into our findings. These clearly show how things may have been otherwise.
However we exist in contemporary realities. The world is vastly different to that of 20 years ago when we forcefully acknowledged the pity of the Great African Famine of 1984-85. The world, then locked into its Cold War political stasis, remained rigid in its competitive ideologies. The breaking of this deadlock, and the increase in global trade that followed, allied to new technologies and cultural shifts, have created a more fluid, less predictive yet more interdependent world.
This world in flux has brought great opportunities along with confusion, change and anxiety. But such change poses great possibilities for us all and especially for Africa, that great giant finally beginning to stir itself from its enforced slumber. We need, then, to seek to understand these newer forces in play about us, attempt to define them and in so doing set the framework for policies that favour the poor.
The great nations of the world, in alliance with their African neighbours, must now move together, in our common interest. How they may proceed will be determined by each nation's needs and desires. But all must immediately begin the journey that leads us to the ultimate common destination of a more equitable world.
Our task was the first step. It is done.
Source: Commission for Africa
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