Summit seeks business buy-in for Commission for Africa plan, by Kevin O’Grady

Monday, May 30, 2005

Top businessmen, government ministers and central bankers gather in Cape Town this week for the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Africa Economic Summit, with the focus on making the Commission for Africa?s proposals a reality.

Haiko Alfeld, the WEF’s director for Africa, said at a press conference in Johannesburg on Friday that this week?s gathering ?should be the place where business will respond formally to action plans announced by the commission?.

One of the main recommendations of the commission, which was set up last year by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to find ways to advance development in Africa, is to increase donor funding for infrastructure $10bn a year until 2010.

The commission’s report has a strong focus on the role to be played by business, and Alfeld said it was hoped that companies would show their support this week. He said it was especially important that they did so ahead of the next meeting of the heads of state of the Group of Eight (G-8) in Scotland in July.

“Business is ready to support and build capacity to make sure Africa is ready to spend this money wisely,” Alfeld said.
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Source: Business Day