World Bank urges more aid to Africa

Jan. 21, 2005 at 4:26 PM
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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- World Bank regional vice president Gobin Nankani urged world leaders to increase aid to Africa by at least 60 percent during a two-day summit in Johannesburg.

Speaking at a meeting with members of the Strategic Partnership with Africa, Nankani told world leaders that international financial assistance should match the progress made in reforms by African governments.

Aid flow to Africa has diminished over the last two years; in 2002 aid to the continent reached $20.7 billion, but then dropped to $19.5 billion in 2003, the BBC reported.

In order to address the issue, members devised a "shared growth" agenda, which would help to develop a new trade accord, by phasing out agricultural subsidies to the level playing field for African exports and creating better access to markets. The group said it would also help to develop Africa's private sector and increase aid.

However, Jean-Baptiste Compaore, Burkina Faso's minister of finance and budget, said the SPA's strategies would not be enough for Africa to be able to assist itself.

"We are trying to implement reforms," said Compaore. "We know our countries have a role to play -- but we also know we aren't being supported sufficiently to ensure satisfactory results. This wasn't what we expected."

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