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Tuesday, 4 December, 2001, 17:53 GMT
Africa meet on 'Marshall' plan
Tokyo skyline
Ministers will meet in Tokyo again in 2003 for the third such conference
African ministers have met with aid donors in Tokyo to fill in the details of their economic plan, ambitiously hailed as the continent's Marshall Plan.

Leaders from 130 countries and international organisations met at the two-day summit to consider ways to boost aid and development.

The "New Partnership for Africa's Development" (NEPAD) aims to tackle investment, governance, debt, infrastructure, banking problems and economic growth.

The 53 participating African countries hope for $64bn of annual investment, the bulk of which is expected to come from outside of Africa.

However, this target may prove difficult to reach, given that both foreign direct investment (FDI) and official investment are falling.

Less cash

Even before the 11 September attacks in the US, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said that FDI was likely to fall by 40% this year.

Latest Africa Development Bank (ADB) figures show that Africa got $14.2bn in development aid in 1999, compared with $24.2bn ten years previously.

Callisto Madavo, World Bank
Praise for Africa's new 'paradigm' from the World Bank's Callisto Madavo
Japan is one of the biggest national donors to Africa, having spent nearly $1bn on aid since 1999.

The meeting in Tokyo was to review progress since a 1998 summit, in which policy guidelines were laid down on African development.

"The talks weren't just about monetary aid. We talked about how Asian countries can help Africa get rid of poverty through economic development," Madoka Funatsu, spokeswoman for Japan's Foreign Ministry said.

Callisto Madavo, the World Bank's vice president for Africa, praised the "profound paradigm shift" which meant that African leaders no longer blamed the outside world for Africa's problems.

The United Nations' Development Programme's Mark Malloch Brown warned that Africa's concerns should not be ignored, even as governments concentrated their resources on terrorism.

"It would be the ultimate global moral hazard if countries that have worked so hard to reform were suddenly sidelined at the expense of those whose governments allowed terror to fester and grow," he said.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced that the third Tokyo International Conference on African Development would be held in late 2003.

The BBC's Theo Leggett
"Japan spends the largest share of its official development assistance in the African continent"
See also:

22 Jul 01 | Africa
Africa presents its big idea
27 Apr 01 | Africa
Annan's 'Marshall Plan' for Aids
07 Nov 01 | Business
EU admits Africa losing out on trade
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