A year ago, when I suggested Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to establish a Commission for Africa, I expected in secret a political success, open up a public debate about the greatest problem of our time. The success or failure of our efforts greatly would depend upon the will and capacity of the African governments to rule effectively and tackle corruption.
The debate about this matter had extraordinary proportions and went on during the G-7 meeting. The national discussion allowed to define the terms of the debate among the leaders. At this point, most of the G-7 countries are willing to allocate 0.7% of their budget for development aid. However, it has not been possible yet to ensure doubling such assistance since the Canadians, Japanese, and mainly the Americans, have failed to commit themselves to do it. The Prime Minister, Live 8 and the coalitions against poverty should put pressure on these countries. A fair trade is also needed. Currently, subsidies and protectionism in the rich countries are ruining Africa, which only accounts for 2% of the world trade.
Blair should reject today any commitment with Canada, United States and Japan. He should cancel the debt, double the assistance for development, and reform world trade under conditions in favor of democracy and fight against corruption. Remember that those who demand this kind of assistance are the African commissioners of the Commission for Africa. The organizations are influencing upon the debate.
Unfortunately, those who tell us that our action is useless are unable to propose something else.

The Times (United Kingdom)

Don’t blink: the world is tilting on its axis”, by Bob Geldof, Times, June 14, 2005.