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Tuesday, 26 March, 2002, 06:02 GMT
African leaders seek aid breakthrough
Angola, Luanda Rogue Santeiro Market
The aim is to find $64bn of new investment
Leaders of 21 African states have gathered in Abuja in Nigeria to fine-tune a plan to finance economic development in the continent, ahead at a meeting of the world's biggest industrialised countries.

The plan, dubbed the New Partnership for African Development (Nepad), is the brainchild of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.

There is a tendency to look at one country and say that it is every country in Africa... to almost want to punish all countries in Africa collectively

Jacob Zuma
South African deputy president

The BBC's Elizabeth Blunt says African countries are counting on the plan to re-engage potential donors and investors.

It is to be discussed by G8 leaders, who will lay out their response - including financing to tackle the Aids crisis which affects tens of millions of Africans - in June.

South Africa has requested that the Western countries, on whose money the plan depends, should not victimise the whole continent following the election in Zimbabwe.

Details

The summit aims to develop in more detail the ideas drawn up by the 16 member states of Nepad before a visit to Nigeria by Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who is due to host the next G8 meeting.

It hopes to persuade Western countries and companies to invest $64bn (45bn) a year in Africa, targeting economic growth of 7%, in exchange for promises that good governance and transparency will be encouraged.


What is NEPAD?

  • New Partnership for African Development
  • Seeks $64bn a year funds for Africa
  • Brain-child of South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki
  • Launch set for G8 meeting in June

       Click here for more

  • On the agenda are subjects including peace and security, agriculture and market access, capital flows, economic and corporate governance, infrastructure and human development.

    But some fear that the recent election in Zimbabwe has put that investment at risk.

    Western governments, together with a clutch of non-governmental organisations including the Commonwealth, cast doubt on the legitimacy of the President Robert Mugabe's victory.

    Zimbabwe's neighbours, however, were broadly in agreement that Mr Mugabe won fairly.

    Punish one, punish all

    Jacob Zuma, the South African deputy president, warned against "collective punishment".

    Abuja attendees
    Nigeria (President Olusegun Obasanjo)
    South Africa (President Thabo Mbeki)
    Algeria
    Botswana
    Cameroon
    Congo
    Egypt
    Ethiopia
    Gabon
    Mali
    Mauritius
    Mozambique
    Rwanda
    Senegal
    Tunisia
    Zambia
    Observers:
    Ghana
    Sao Tome & Principe
    Tanzania
    Uganda
    "There is a tendency to look at one country and say that it is every country in Africa... to almost want to punish all countries in Africa collectively," Mr Zuma told reporters in South Africa.

    "Zimbabwe was such an example. If one country has done certain things... you must not try to also punish other people."

    African leaders should not be expected to be held responsible for bringing Zimbabwe into line, he warned.

    "If a country like France misbehaved, no-one would say that everything is in the hands of (British prime minister) Tony Blair," he said.

     WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    The BBC's Mark Ashurst
    "Nepad calls for more open economies, new institutions, and crucially peer review"
    See also:

    20 Mar 02 | Africa
    'A defining moment for Africa'
    19 Mar 02 | Africa
    Commonwealth suspends Zimbabwe
    15 Feb 02 | Business
    Zimbabwe's economic tailspin
    08 Feb 02 | Africa
    Africa sets out economic plan
    31 Jan 02 | Business
    Fund boost for Africa infrastructure
    04 Dec 01 | Business
    Africa meet on 'Marshall' plan
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