Methodist Church welcomes African Commission report

Anthea Cox, Co-ordinating Secretary for Public Life and SocialJustice "We must not forget that in Africa thousands die each dayfrom preventable causes, while millions of others are held back inpoverty. We welcome the initiative behind the Africa Commission asit gives an opportunity to focus debate before the G8 meeting inJuly, but only if the report leads to delivery of the proposalswill it make a real difference to the lives of millions. Therecommendations offer much of what is being asked for by the MakePoverty History campaign that is supported by the Methodist Church.In addition the report tackles some key issues such as the need forimproved governance, the suggestion of an international Arms tradeTreaty and for there to be a permanent United Nations commission toprobe the links between resource exploitation and conflict inAfrica."

Roy Crowder, Methodist World Church Secretary for Africa, said"It is important that the Commission's report signals strongpolitical will in Britain to commit long term support tocollaboration on African development. Earlier comments from some UKpoliticians that the Commission was 'the last chance for Africa'have caused considerable concern. These words imply that the Westmight just 'drop' African countries if outcomes did not satisfy it.It is also vital that African development is created through strongpartnership between African and Western initiative."

Steve Hucklesby, Secretary for International Affairs, said "Itis commendable that report has tackled the issue of corruption inan upfront and honest way, although some recent media reportsclaiming that 80% of aid money is wasted are misleading. The reportproposes action in developed countries on the UN Convention AgainstCorruption, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative andtransparency of Export Credit Agencies. The challenge now is to getcommitments from governments to put words into action."