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Last Updated: Monday, 7 March, 2005, 02:49 GMT
Mozambique PM attacks Africa plan
By Peter Biles
BBC World Affairs correspondent

Voters outside a polling station in a secondary school in Maputo, Mozambique
Each country needs a different approach, says Diogo
Mozambique's prime minister says she does not think Tony Blair's Commission for Africa will be able to meet the concerns of individual African nations.

Speaking to the BBC, Luisa Diogo said the commission, due to publish its action plan next week, could not take a "one size fits all" approach to Africa.

Africa is the world's poorest continent, with half of all Africans living in absolute poverty.

Mozambique could be seen as a test case for the commission.

Specific action

The country has enjoyed economic success over the last 10 years and, on a visit to the country in January, Chancellor Gordon Brown said Britain would cancel Mozambique's total debt to the UK of 80m ($154m).

But Prime Minister Luisa Diogo says her country has special conditions that still have to be addressed by the international community.

"Our concern is that it is not easy to have one recommendation for all the countries in Africa," she told the BBC.

"And I believe the report from the Commission for Africa will be a little bit general, because it's not easy to accommodate in one report like that all the concerns and the specifications of each country."

In particular, the prime minister is concerned about one of Mozambique's most important sectors - the sugar industry.

She says there needs to be specific treatment on the issue of tariff barriers and access to markets.

At present, Mozambique is only able to export limited amounts of sugar to the European Union.

Nevertheless, Luisa Diogo still believes that action taken this year can make a significant difference to Africa.




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