Home | News    Thursday 27 January 2005

Blair says better planning to help in Africa - paper

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BERLIN, Jan 27, 2005 (Reuters) — Better planning will help Britain’s new aid initiative for Africa to succeed where others have failed, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in an interview published on Thursday.
Asked what made him confident Britain’s bid to help Africa would succeed, Blair told Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper: "The fact that we planned it together with the African leaders in advance and that we’re not restricting ourselves to aid."

"On the one hand we’re including trade, a bilateral opening of the markets, and on the other, the resolution of conflicts," he told the daily business paper.

"A well trained African rapid intervention force could quickly end terrible wars like (those) in the Sudan or Congo at relatively low cost."

Britain’s modern "Marshall Plan" for Africa has been led by the Blair’s finance minister, Gordon Brown.

The initiative includes doubling rich countries’ annual aid to poor nations to $100 billion, dismantling trade barriers which hurt poor nations, and setting up a fund to help them develop the infrastructure needed to compete globally.

Britain has also proposed that the G7 group of industrialised nations write off multilateral debt of the world’s 70 poorest countries, a move which would cost it $2 billion over 10 years.

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