Ottawa, March 11, 2005
2005-019

Archived - Minister Goodale Welcomes Commission for Africa Report

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Minister of Finance Ralph Goodale today welcomed the final report of the Commission for Africa.

"Today's report provides an ambitious framework to improve the lives of Africans," said Minister Goodale, speaking at the Africa Now: Untold Stories conference at Carleton University in Ottawa. "It sets out a bold agenda aimed at promoting security and economic growth, and is consistent with Canada's approach to supporting less fortunate countries in Africa. I am pleased to see international attention again centred on Africa."

The Commission for Africa outlines proposals for donors and other partners to build upon the reforms that Africans are taking for real and lasting progress in the fight against poverty. Information on the Commission and a copy of the report can be obtained by visiting the Commission for Africa Web site at www.commissionforafrica.org.

The Commission for Africa report complements the long-standing priority Canada has attached to Africa. It was Canada's leadership that ensured a response to African leaders at the G8 Kananaskis Summit in 2002, leading to the creation of the G8 Africa Action Plan.

The Government of Canada further demonstrated its commitment to Africa in recent months, including in Budget 2005, by announcing:

  • A doubling of Canada's aid to Africa by 2008-09 from its 2003-04 level.
  • A call to forgive 100 per cent of debt-servicing payments coming due between now and 2015, and the commitment of Canada's share of debt-service costs owed by eligible countries to the International Development Association of the World Bank and the African Development Fund.
  • Major new funding to help in the fight against AIDS and malaria and to further support vaccine programs.

"No single nation can solve all the problems facing Africa. Each of us is only a piece of the greater picture, contributing where we can be most effective, consistent with our national policies," said the Minister. "I look forward to seeing Africa take a prominent place on the agenda at the G8 leader's summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July."

The 17-member Commission for Africa was established by British Prime Minister Tony Blair in February 2004. Minister Goodale was asked to join, in his personal capacity, as co-chair of the economy team, with the goal of identifying ways to promote economic growth and trade. As commissioner, Minister Goodale emphasized the role of the private sector in Africa's development as well as the immediate need to remove the burdens of debt and infectious disease in Africa.

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Pat Breton
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