Page last updated at 18:31 GMT, Tuesday, 5 July 2005 19:31 UK

UK interactive panel: Vanessa Walters

MEET THE PANEL
Vanessa Walters
Name: Vanessa Walters
Age: 27
Lives: Walthamstow, London
Works: Writer
In 10 words or less:
"Single city dweller into art and people"

African issues are finally being taken seriously by G8 leaders.

This is mainly thanks to the media attention given to protests in Edinburgh and the Live 8 concerts last Saturday.

The HIV virus in Africa is affecting the lives of millions of people.

It is a global problem and global funding is needed to help.

However, aid must reach its intended beneficiaries and should not be siphoned off into the pockets of corrupt politicians.

The pledges on debt relief are a huge step forward towards redressing global inequalities.

UK INTERACTIVE PANEL: G8
However, the problems with struggling African economies stem from trade agreements and international politics.

More aid will help the sick and dying in the short term but it won't reverse a country's long term fortunes.

I don't see the G8 leaders making any politically risky decisions.

They will, more than likely, prefer to pay more money now rather provoke their own farmers by tinkering with subsidies.

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