- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 21, 2002

JOHANNESBURG (Agence France-Presse) Extra aid to Africa from the Group of Eight industrial democracies will come only if the continent's new economic-recovery plan is functioning properly, a Canadian minister visiting South Africa said, according to a news report yesterday.
Canadian Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew's comments came after South African President Thabo Mbeki wrote a letter to leaders of developed countries seeking to assure them that the so-called peer-review process in Africa was on track.
Mr. Mbeki was responding to a letter from Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, chairman of the G-8. The letter, which has not been made public, reportedly warned of an unraveling of support for the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
Inclusion in NEPAD of the peer-review mechanism under which African leaders can hold their colleagues to account under prescribed standards of good governance brought sweeping endorsement of the African economic-recovery plan from the G-8.
Mr. Mbeki insists, however, that the political reviews are the responsibility of the African Union, successor to the Organization of African Unity, rather than NEPAD, as originally envisaged.
Mr. Pettigrew said in Johannesburg on Tuesday that $6 billion in extra annual aid, aimed at demonstrating G-8 support for NEPAD, was "conditional on NEPAD functioning," Business Day newspaper reported.
"The $6 billion is conditional on all NEPAD elements, of which good governance is a part and peer review is a part of that," he said.
"If we, both Canadians and Africans, allow NEPAD to falter, we risk sacrificing the only initiative that has the prospect of retaining international engagement in support of Africa."
Mr. Pettigrew, who is leading a trade mission to Africa, was to leave South Africa yesterday for Nigeria and Senegal.
NEPAD, formally initiated this year, is a pledge by African leaders to eradicate poverty and place their countries on a path of sustainable growth and development while also participating in the world economy.


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