G8 Partnership with Africa: Relevant to All

The United States is about to host the G8 summit at a secluded resort at Sea Island, Georgia. There has been widespread concern that, consumed with developments in the Middle East and the worldwide ‘war’ on terrorism, Washington would downgrade attention to Africa that has featured at the last three meetings of the world’s leading economies.

The World Today Updated 16 October 2020 Published 1 June 2004 4 minute READ

J. Brian Atwood

Dean, Hubert Humphrey School, University of Minnesota

Princeton N Lyman

Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow and Director of African Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

That would be unfortunate, for it would slow momentum and discourage African reformers who have championed democracy, human rights and good governance. It would also be a mistake to imply that the continent is not relevant to the three global themes that America has used to develop the agenda: freedom, security and prosperity. Africa figures importantly in all three.

This partnership is in its very early stages. Years of effort and much greater political commitment will be needed to make it bear fruit. Pushing it to the sidelines could damage it badly, losing momentum. As other issues crowd the headlines, it must not go down in history as but a passing focus.

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