Page last updated at 10:18 GMT, Friday, 7 August 2009 11:18 UK

France plans 'bingo for Africa'

Lottery balls (file pic)
The lottery is already a popular way to replenish state coffers

The French government is considering introducing a special lottery for Africa to supplement development aid.

"It could be bingo for Africa, or a lotto," said the French Secretary of State for Co-operation, Alain Joyandet.

The lottery could be launched next year and would be aimed especially at raising funds for education in Africa.

"It could generate about 10 million euros [£8.5m] annually," Mr Joyandet said, adding that he had discussed it with France's state betting monopoly.

Mr Joyandet said the new lottery would fit into the category of "innovative funding" for aid projects. These already include a special tax on airline tickets and reduced charges for Africans sending money home.

The French state earns 2.5bn euros annually from the lottery and scratch cards, the French newspaper Le Figaro reports.

"Our game, where from the outset each player knows that part of his bet is destined for Africa, is supposed to be educational. It's important for everyone to be aware that, even in times of crisis, the poor must not be abandoned," Mr Joyandet said.

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