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G8 Countries Commit to Boosting Development Efforts of African Partners
In a statement released on June 18 at the closing of the Group of Eight 2013 summit in London, the G8 countries of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, Canada and Russia praised the development efforts made by Africans citizens, governments and institutions, including the African Development Bank Group, and committed further support.
“Africa is the next emerging continent, with a growing share of the world’s trade, investment and economic output. We have an historical opportunity to work with our African partners to help promote inclusive and resilient growth in Africa, through greater transparency, improved infrastructure, better trade facilitation, the elimination of trade barriers and the management of natural resources,” the G8 leaders said.
The world’s largest economies praised Africa’s development efforts, notably in the area of regional integration. It welcomed the continent’s policy agenda that aims to reduce barriers, so as to unlock development potentials through free movement of goods and services.
The G8 also supported the African Union’s (AU) Action Plan on Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT) that will cut transit times and boost African trade, not only within the continent, but also with global markets.
According to the declaration, “the G8 will work with African countries and regional economic communities to meet the AU’s target of doubling intra-Africa trade and reducing crossing times at key border posts by 50% by 2022.”
Recognizing the key role of good infrastructure in economic growth, as well as the gap in that area on the continent, the G8 countries committed to providing increased support for project preparation facilities for regional projects. Furthermore, they committed to explore further ways to facilitate institutional investment flows into bankable trade-related infrastructure projects in developing countries.
Natural resources management was also an area of interest during the discussions. In that regard, the meeting underlined their potential to be a key driver of sustainable growth if well managed. “These resources offer a long term route out of poverty for many developing countries and an opportunity to reduce dependence on external assistance,” the statement said.
As a way of helping African countries, the G8 promised to “take action to raise global standards for extractives transparency and make progress towards common global reporting standards, both for countries with significant domestic extractive industries and the home countries of large multinational extractive corporations.”