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Last Updated: Friday, 11 March, 2005, 14:11 GMT
Africa report: Reaction

Displaced children in Angola
The report demands major investment in health and education
A report by the UK-led Commission for Africa urging a plan of action for the continent has been greeted with enthusiasm in some quarters and resignation in others.

Here is a sample of the reaction from around the world:

"It must translate not into a lot of paper, but into a firm, serious programme of action... There is a lot of work contained in here... My own sense is that everybody is very keen to achieve actual, measurable progress.

South African President Thabo Mbeki

"This is nothing new. Maybe instead of suggesting a new initiative, the rich countries could just stick to the promises they have already made."

Airy Ramiarison, University of Antananarivo, Madagascar

"That the commissioners are well-intentioned men and women is beyond doubt. But it is an effort most likely to produce very little."

Ugandan commentator Andrew Mwenda

"This has been said many times before... The UK government and other rich countries have to actually start taking action on these issues of trade, increasing aid, cancelling debt."

Peter Hardstaff, policy director for the aid group World Development Movement

"It's a moment of re-awakening, addressed by a new resolve to take concrete measures to address its deep-seated problems... re-awakening after many false starts and unnecessary detours, and with a far better understanding of what works for development and what is clearly a dead end."

Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of Ethiopia

"In the long term, history will judge this report not just by its content but by its capacity to deliver genuine change... This report can be a rallying call for a generation that will no longer tolerate the obscenity of extreme poverty in Africa - or it could end up gathering dust. It's now up to world leaders to make that choice."

Oxfam's Adrian Lovett

[On health reform proposals...]

"That's been said by others, but it has not come from an official body quite so strongly before."

Simon Wright of health advocacy group ActionAid

"It does have very good things to say in some of the clearest and most decisive language compared to many other reports I've seen in recent times. There is a clear recognition that part of Africa's problem of underdevelopment and poverty in the past 30 years has to do with donor policies [like] forced liberalisation. It recognises that there is a northern dimension to corruption [where there are] safe havens for the deposits of money and they should start to take steps to prosecute their companies that are doing the bribing. And there is a recognition that a private sector solution to health and education doesn't work."

Charles Abugre, head of policy at Christian Aid

I have been hearing it for the past 50 years. Africa is still being told to be dependent on the West, such as saying in 10 years we're going to give you 25b, then these guys aren't going to work, but they're going to wait for the $25b to come in."

An Ethiopian interviewed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

"It is a good prospect for Africa if all the actions recommended can be implemented. We should start by saying it should work, we should not have any doubts, we should be optimistic."

An African man interviewed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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