Rendezvous in Kananaskis
G8 News Updates
General (June 20 and later)
General (June 1 - June 19)
General (May 17 - May 31)
General (May 1 - May 16)
General (March 28 - April 30)
General (up to March 27, 2002)
Africa Articles (April 10 and later)
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Previous G8 Summits
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Detroit - Energy (May 2-3)
Tremblant - Justice (May 13-14)
Whistler - Foreign (June 12-13)
Halifax - Finance (June 14-15)
Getting to Kananaskis
Kananaskis Trails and Terrain
Anti-G8 Educational Materials & Pamphlets
Anti-G8 Posters & Fliers
Articles focusing on the G8 and African Issues - (April 10 and later)
Note: take a look at this Graphic Representation of Declining G7 Foreign Aid to get perspective on relative aid figures. Also, check the Analysis - NEPAD section for more general information on the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). To search for articles from an African perspective, try this List of African News Services. A search at the South African business journal Business Day will also turn up many results. For HIV/AIDS related articles, try this archive at the University of Zambia Medical Library.
De Kananaskis à Evian: Un partenariat déséquilibré avec l'Afrique (1 juin, 2003 / A. Fall)
U.S. Quest for Oil in Africa Worries Analysts, Activists (Jan. 13, Los Angeles Times)
U.N. Endorses New Plan to Rejuvenate Africa (Sept. 16, 2002 / IPS)
US takes good look at west African oil (July 25, 2002 / Financial Times) The U.S. is pushing forward with a previously reported plan to increase its dependence on African oil from a present 15% of domestic consumption to 25% of domestic American consumption by the year 2015.
NGOs criticize G-8 Africa Action Plan: Another opportunity wasted by G-8 (July 9, 2002 / the Link)
G8 summit rejects Africa aid plea (July 3, 2002 / wsws.org)
Keep pushing aid to Africa (July 3, 2002 / Saskatoon StarPhoenix) "Britain and Canada must ...stop recruiting Africa's doctors and professionals away from their homelands. They should also compensate countries for the cost of training the professionals whom they do acquire through immigration...." An excellent point which is usually overlooked.
Africa betrayed: the aid workers' verdict (June 28, 2002 / Guardian)
G-8 Nepad response disappoints Africans (June 28, 2002 / Business Day)
Detailed plans needed for African agenda if G8 deal to make real change (June 28, 2002 / CP) Joe Clark offers this comment: "The basic commitment Canada made was to contribute $500 million to Africa, if there are surpluses. That is a loophole through which you could fly a fleet of Challengers."
'Peanuts': G8 Leaders Launch New Plan for Africa, Activists Angry (June 28, 2002 / Agence France Presse) "They are offering peanuts to Africa and repackaged peanuts at that. The thing that is most disappointing is that the leaders have spent the last year talking up this event as the moment they were going to deliver for Africa." - Phil Twyford, Oxfam International
Little new seen in plan to aid Africa (June 27, 2002 / BBC)
G8 agrees Africa action plan (June 27, 2002 / BBC)
Mali stages 'poor man's G8' (June 26, 2002 / BBC) Barry Aminata Toure, head the Jubilee 2000 movement in Mali, says of the Canadian summit: "Isolated from the rest of the world, the leaders of the world's eight richest countries will decide the destinies of millions of people on all continents, to serve the interests of multinationals, industrial countries and corrupt governments in the south." In contrast, participants from seven countries in West Africa are meeting - minus the fanfare and 9 digit security bills - to come up with African solutions to African problems.
White Lies (June 25, 2002 / Guardian)
Nigeria's Obasanjo, whose country is mired in poverty and violence, represents Africa at G-8 summit (June 25, 2002 / AP) The issue of the lack of public consultation in Africa regarding NEPAD is carefully avoided; instead the degree to which Obasanjo 'represents' Africa is debated (another falsely-framed-debate style article).
A little aid goes a long way in Uganda (June 25, 2002 / Globe&Mail)
Crackdown pushed for arms trade (June 25, 2002 / Calgary Sun) "Nyararai Magudu, representative of Amnesty International Mozambique, said he wants G-8 leaders to muster up the political will to stop individuals in wealthy nations from sending small arms to Africa...." See also: Amnesty calling on G-8 leaders to regulate small arms trade (June 25, 2002 / CBC); G-8 arms sales to Africa vilified (June 25, 2002 / Calgary Herald).
Helping Africa help itself (June 23, 2002 / Calgary Herald) The article is subtitled: "Western Canada is perfectly suited to get in on the ground floor of African reconstruction". Here's some excerpts: "Private investment is...Africa's only real hope.... So how do you attract private money to Africa? ...the quickest [option] is to set aside a small part of Canada's $500 million Africa Fund to seed fund a Canada-Africa Enterprise Fund.... to attract matching private sector money, such a fund would combine the functions of a merchant bank and a development finance institution. It would be run by the private sector and designed to be profitable within a framework established by its stakeholders...." I wonder how many Africans will be getting in on the ground floor.... or getting in at all.
Speakers make plea for action (June 23, 2002 / Calgary Sun) "Africans need their debts immediately forgiven and their children saved from slave labour, but G-8 leaders don't have the political will to make it happen, said speakers at yesterday's session of the G-6B conference...."
PM eyes African poverty (June 23, 2002 / Calgary Sun) Prime Minister Chrétien scoffed at critics of NEPAD, saying "It is a moral obligation for us who have a lot to share with those who have not much." NEPAD will establish favorable conditions for Western investors who are hungry to enter a new, accelerated phase of African exploition, notably of its petroleum and mineral wealth (i.e. coltan for cell phones).
Advocate draws attention to child labourers in Africa (June 23, 2002 / CBC) Anita Seth of Save the Children says 5.7 million children work as slave labourers on farms, primarily in Ivory Coast. She encourages people to buy Fair Trade chocolate....
Stephen Lewis slams G-8 plan for African development (June 22, 2002 / CBC) Lewis says none of Africa's goals can be achieved if more resources are not dedicated to fighting AIDS.
East African leaders discuss NEPAD, demand more say ahead of G-8 summit (June 22, 2002 / AP)
G6B focusing on African Aid (June 21, 2002 / CP)
Bush, Chretien at odds (June 21, 2002 / The Province)
"nepad, No Thanks," Say African Progressives (June 20, 2002 / ZNet)
G8 aid: Everybody can win (June 20, 2002 / Globe&Mail) John Wiebe (CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada) continues to lobby for more aid directed towards Asia. His criticisms of Canadian tied aid ("aid that the recipient must spend on Canadian goods and services -- [which] now amounts to 75 per cent of the total, up significantly from 44 per cent in 1992") are well-founded.
Koizumi outlines Africa agenda for G8 summit, Japan meets UN plea for aid (June 20, 2002 / AP) Please refer to this Graphic Representation of Declining G7 Foreign Aid to get perspective on relative aid figures. The 'overall donor' status referred to in the article is basically meaningless until the population size is factored in. In per capita terms, the U.S. remains at the bottom of the heap.
People's Summit delegates barred (June 19, 2002 / Calgary Herald) "Almost all of the African and other Third World delegates invited to the G-6B People's Summit have been denied entry visas by Immigration Canada, says the event's organizer...." (Recall - see Labour leaders say Chretien agrees to citizen involvement in African aid plan) - how just yesterday Chrétien "promised to involve African citizens groups in the African aid plan"!!)
Slavery message unwrapped (June 19, 2002 / Calgary Sun) "Save the Children Canada will bring part of its 'positive chocolate' campaign to Calgary as it works to pressure the government of Canada to take stronger action to end child slavery...."
Continent's educated can no longer run things: They're dead or can't cope (June 19, 2002 / Globe&Mail) "There is only one paragraph in NEPAD about AIDS," noted Stephen Lewis, special adviser on HIV/AIDS to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. "The document is genuinely flawed by the kind of superficial way it deals with the pandemic. It's crazy to talk about $64-billion [U.S.] in aid, and the economic regeneration of African economies, if you're not dealing with what the pandemic will do down the road, with what it's doing now."
Labour leaders say Chretien agrees to citizen involvement in African aid plan (June 19, 2002 / CP) Mamoumata Cisse of Burkina Faso, one of about 30 international labour leaders at a meeting Tuesday with Jean Chretien said the prime minister promised to involve African citizens groups in the African aid plan he will propose at next week's G-8 summit in Kananaskis, Alta. "The prime minister assured us that Canada is determined to . . . take account of the social partners, notably the union organizations at the local, regional and international levels," she said.... The article also covers a separate news conference in which Canadian social activists, including Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians and musician Bruce Cockburn, stated concerns about lack of grass-roots involvement in the G-8 agenda....
African aid on agenda (June 18, 2002 / Calgary Sun) "Africa is expected to take up the full second day of the agenda, June 27, with African leaders and G-8 countries likely having a joint press conference..... But those lobbying for debt relief for the struggling African nations say it's not the amount of time leaders spend on the issue that matters but how committed they are to change...."
The bumpy road out of poverty (June 17, 2002 / Globe&Mail) An interesting report on the Ugandan coffee industry and how the lack of initiatives to spur a domestic processing industry are hobbling economic potential. Incidentally, the more general assertion, towards the beginning of the article, about IMF/ World Bank policies helping Uganda out of poverty have been widely challenged (see: Uganda: World Bank and Poverty and Democracy Inequality and social policy in Uganda:An Assessment of Current Government Initiatives on Poverty ‘Eradication’ for instance)
Give Africa more of a say in its own future: coalition (June 15, 2002 / CP) A coalition of about 40 international groups condemn several aid projects at the centre of G-7 talks in Halifax, and have doubts regarding the top-down NEPAD initiative.
Mission impossible? (June 15, 2002 / Globe&Mail) A powerful and disturbing exposé of post-war Sierra Leone, along with a reader's response which offers a more hopeful perspective.
Who holds donors to pledges? (June 12, 2002 / Globe&Mail) Article by Roy Culpeper of the North South Institute in which he advocates the implementation of oversight mechanisms to ensure that aid is disbursed as promised by donors.
Catholic bishops want G8 to address Africa (June 13, 2002 / Globe&Mail)
African plan for G8 'lacks legitimacy' (June 13, 2002 / Ottawa Citizen) A new report by the respected North-South Institute says both the G8 African Action Plan and NEPAD "lack legitimacy."
Free trade, not free aid will help Africa (June 12, 2002 / National Post) Textbook 'free-trade' dogma, regurgitated by David Bercuson and Barry Cooper, Calgary's most stridently attention-seeking neo-conservatives (see: NeoCons).
Overwhelming support shown for Nepad at WEF summit (June 7, 2002 / Business Day) The subtitle to this article, "More than 60 companies and 120 individuals sign special declaration", takes quite a bit of wind out of the overwhelming claim. Then, in the body of the article, we read: "Among the signatories are international and local firms such as Anglo American, Barclays Bank and Microsoft...". So much for the 'made-in-Africa' rhetoric....
Africa wants G8 answers on debt - Mbeki (June 7, 2002 / Business Day)
Nepad gets strong business backing (June 7, 2002 / Business Day)
Protest at WEF in Durban (June 6, 2002 / IMC SA)
Police Use Brute Force at WEF Demonstration (June 6, 2002 / IMC SA)
Protesters at WEF meeting slam Nepad as 'recolonisation of Africa' (June 6, 2002 / Witness) "We regard Nepad as a new form of colonisation with the consent of African leaders. The essence of the document is that Africa promises to obey all requests from the West and will submit to their demands, particularly in the area of investment. Africa will be enslaved to satisfy the demands of the West," says Professor Dennis Brutus of Jubilee South Africa.
WEF turns focus to social ills (June 6, 2002 / Business Day)
Forging new partnership for the revival of Africa (June 6, 2002 / Business Day) Article based on a speech given by Thabo Mbeki to the World Economic Forum in Durban.
Society's worries on Nepad are 'legitimate' (June 6, 2002 / Business Day) Comment on Thabo Mbeki's article (just above) by the newspaper's senior political correspondent
The Africa Tour: First, Do No Harm (June 2, 2002 / ZNet) by Mark Weisbrot
Vault not open, Canada tells Africa (May 30, 2002 / Globe&Mail) Another article seeking to downplay the importance of foreign aid.
Investment plan for Africa lacks list of target countries (May 29, 2002 / National Post) Western efforts to promote NEPAD are putting an increased emphasis on criticisms of foreign aid. Says Robert Fowler, Canada's G8 'sherpa': "[After] $13-billion to $14-billion worth of Canadian development ... show me the countries in Africa that are significantly better off." He claims that "we have been reinforcing failure in Africa for a long time." But Fowler's statements contradict more detailed studies, such as this World Bank document: The Role and Effectiveness of Development Assistance (March 11, 2002 / World Bank), which shows that the use of development assistance has in fact been greatly beneficial and increasingly effective over the last 50 years. It also suggests that an additional $40 to $60 billion a year in aid will be needed to reach the Millenium Developmnet Goals — a doubling of current aid flows.
Uganda Tour Deepens O'Neill, Bono Divisions on Aid (May 27, 2002 / Reuters) U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill says that what Africa needs is "copies of Dr. Seuss" rather than "cosmic stuff about billions of dollars."
Canada battles to keep G8 focused on aid to Africa, not political crises (May 27, 2002 / Globe&Mail) "critics say NEPAD failed its first test by taking only reluctant and limited action after March's flawed election in Zimbabwe, despite widespread condemnation from the rest of the world..." The tacit implication here is that NEPAD is fundamentally Ok (the problem only lies in implementing it), and in making this assumption, the article seeks to deflect attention away from more fundamental critiques of NEPAD - i.e. that it is a neoliberal-inspired initiative primarily designed to consolidate the exploitation of Africa by foreign corporations - and, instead, to suggest that criticisms are much more narrowly focussed on issues such as that of Zimbabwe. A classic manipulation technique (setting artificial bounds on a debate) which has become a favorite of reporter Heather Scoffield.
G8 Head Canada Rejects Critics of African Aid Plan (May 26, 2002 / Reuters) Excerpt: "...diplomats say some African politicians and civil activists are unhappy about how quickly the initiative is being pushed through and are nervous about the pace at which free markets and Western-style political reforms would be introduced in return for aid. But Robert Fowler, the Canadian prime minister's personal representative with overall responsibility for the G8 summit, told Reuters there was no time to lose and rejected the idea of more consultations across Africa on NEPAD." More consultations? There weren't any in the first place!
The West's practices on Africa mustn't fall short of its sentiment (May 24, 2002 / Globe&Mail) More on Bono's sellout tour of Africa in which calls for debt cancellation have been eclipsed by a relentless chorus of trade trade trade ....
With Mideast uncertainty, US turns to Africa for oil (May 23, 2002 / Christian Science Monitor) "Today, the African Oil Policy Initiative Group, a lobby group with members from the oil industry and various arms of government, will present a white paper in Washington. The document urges Congress and the Bush administration to encourage greater extraction of oil across Africa, and to declare the Gulf of Guinea 'an area of vital interest' to the US." See: U.S. Officials Cite Importance of African Oil to U.S. Economy (Feb. 1, 2002 / US Dept. of State) for background on this. In fact, the thirst for African oil has long been a driving but well-concealed force behind NEPAD (recall the nomination of Enron director Frank Savage to Thabo Mbeki's board of foreign financial advisors just a few month prior to the unveiling of the MAP initiative which was the precursor to NEPAD...).
Republican and rocker on a fact-finding tour: Africa, its problems, and solutions (May 21, 2002 / AP) Oh no - it's B'oh-no again - doing his 'save Africa' routine with U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. This has now been transformed into what is largely just another 'more trade' routine (perhaps because Bono's fledgling DATA scheme has received aggressive funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). But it is time we took a closer look at what Paul O'Neill is all about. This is the man who recently proposed an overhaul of the U.S. tax system which would include "elimination of taxes on corporations-- and the shifting of the tax burden to individuals." O'Neill has also called for "the abolition of Social Security and Medicare" in the U.S. (see: ACTION ALERT: Extreme proposals of Treasury's O'Neill mostly unreported- June 13, 2002 / FAIR). Come to think of it, O'Neill could really use a visit to Africa. But what exactly are Bono and O'Neill doing at the moment? Investigating efforts to revitalize sustainable farms? Unravelling red tape to make more money available for producing generic drugs? Establishing links with organizations struggling to gain increased rights for workers? .... Not exactly. In fact, they "broke the cliched and the stereotypical" by making their first stop at a Ghanian Internet provider. Won't Bill and Melinda be charmed when they hear ....
G-8, African officials discuss new development plan (May 17, 2002 /AP)
EU leaders near deal on Africa, Chrétien says (May 15, 2002 / Globe&Mail) The article summarizes Chrétien's trip to Europe, offering very little in the way of substantial information, except that to suggest that France is footdragging with regard to NEPAD. This apparent reluctance on the part of France looks to me like a typical diplomatic ploy to control outcomes (we saw the same sort of thing happen at the WTO negotiations in Qatar). In this case, the idea is to focus the NEPAD (non-) debate within the G8, thus diminishing the voice of the real NEPAD opposition - i.e. the voices coming from non-elite Africa - and sidestepping the basic questions about the advisability of locking the African continent into a longterm neoliberal commitment. Standard manipulation from the well-oiled G8 machine.
Is Nepad the Answer to Africa's Problems? (May 15, 2002 / TWN) Excerpt: "During a three-day "African Forum for Envisioning Africa by African Scholars" in Nairobi last week, a section of civil society representatives and scholars said that Nepad lacked legitimacy as it was agreed upon by African presidents and sold to Western economic powers for funding without consulting citizens, parliaments and the civil society."
Touring odd couple: Paul O'Neill and U2's Bono heading for Africa (May 14, 2002 / AP)
Chretien vows not to allow terrorism to derail African aid program (May 13, 2002 / CP) Says Chrétien, "we have to make sure that they come back as part of the global situation and make a positive contribution to growth in the world." Growth... that's what really matters. Chrétien had to be reminded that he was scheduled to meet Thabo Mbeki in Paris - but what difference does it make, after all? The message is always the same: growth, GROWTH, GROWTH !
Ottawa to cut some tariffs for poorest countries (May 13, 2002 / Globe&Mail)
G-8 leaders urged to commit funds to educate African children (May 8, 2002 / Canadian Press) A report on various presentations made before the SCFAIT in Calgary, most of which focus on African issues.
Aid plan flawed: African critics (May 7, 2002 / Montreal Gazette) The general consensus among African representatives at the previously noted conference in Montreal appears to be that NEPAD offers a lot for foreign investors, but little for African people.
PM's aide insists Africa tops G8 agenda (May 6, 2002 / Ottawa Citizen) Robert Fowler pretends here that the follow-through on NEPAD represents some kind of wonderful commitment to helping Africa. In reality, it is simply a broad realization of the African Partnership policy conceived within the Clinton administration, and now made more expedient by growing U.S. designs on African oil. But why is Canada bending over backwards to sell this plan, you might ask. Well, for one thing, certain powerful Canadian-based oil companies (think Talisman, for example) are interested in expanding lucrative operations in Africa. Probably of more relevance, however, would be to ask the question: why did the United States insist on Canada being included in the G7 way back in 1976? Answer one question and you have answered the other.
515 delegates debate plan for Africa (May 5, 2002 / Montreal Gazette) Article covering the opening day of the Montreal CIDA sponsored NEPAD conference. A few businessmen cheer it on, while others are aghast....
Talisman Advised - Further Abuses Could Result In Prosecution In International Criminal Court (April 30, 2002 / Rights&Democracy)
Nepad and Globalisation (April 26, 2002 / AIDC) The Council for Development & Social Science Research in Africa (CODRESIA) and Third World Network (TWN) reject NEPAD for a host of reasons (see section 10 of this article), and reemphasize the importance of cancelling African debt.
Half dozen Africans will join G-8 leaders in June to discuss Africa agenda (April 23, 2002 / CP) In an March 7, 2002 Rocky Mountain Outlook (archived below), it was reported that there would be as many as ten African leaders at the June 27 luncheon. Now it's down to six.... The rest of the article offers a few other interesting tidbits. Robert Fowler says, for instance, of NEPAD: "It's about producing champions." More and more, we are hearing about this disturbing vision of using NEPAD to get Africa focussed on one obsessive goal: a competitive dash for Western investment money. Also, when asked "If you attack al-Qaida money, why can't you attack the ill-gotten gains of kleptomaniacal leaders in Africa?" Fowler got evasive, saying, "Are there possibilities there? I expect there are. We're not there yet, but I expect there are." As for the ill-gotten gains of kleptomaniacal corporations operating in Africa, no mention of them is found in this CP article.
Leaders fail African Economic Summit (April 16, 2002 / Reuters) Well look who's here to answer the $64 billion dollar question - "How will all that money be spent?"... execs from Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Unilever, and another thousand-or-so business 'leaders'. Leading the pack is Frank Savage of the U.S. Corporate Council for Africa. Frank Savage... does that name ring a bell? It should. Frank Savage was Chairman of Alliance Capital International, part of the firm which managed the Florida State Pension Fund, and was responsible for the decisions to continue investing in Enron as it teetered towards collapse. This ultimately resulted in $306 million (US) in losses for the fund. Savage's simultanious presence on the board of directors at Enron (where he still is, as of April 2002) resulted in a number of Florida conflict-of-interest lawsuits which are currently ongoing. Savage is also on the boards of Lockheed Martin Corporation, Qualcomm Corp, is CEO of Savage Holdings, and, perhaps most pertinently in relation to NEPAD, is a member of President Thabo Mbeki's International Investment Council. For more on the Savage-Alliance Capital-Enron connection, see: Alliance director also on Enron board (Jan. 17, 2002 / New York Times); Democrats: Don't Gloat About Enron (Jan. 14, 2002 / Time Magazine); Florida's Last-Minute Enron Stock Buys Probed (Jan. 17, 2002 / Miami Herald), and Alliance Capital's Savage quits to start new Africa fund (August 8, 2001 / Reuters).
African leaders work out spending plan ahead of promised aid infusion (April 15, 2002 / AP)
More action, less rhetoric, urge critics of G8 aid plan (April 13, 2002 / National Post)
Man of action aims to make a difference in Africa (April 13, 2002 / Globe&Mail) Another Chrétien tour article in which the 'jounalist' serves as a dutiful mouthpiece for the officially sanctioned version of things. Perfunctory deference to 'objective journalism' is observed by the addition of a couple of critical lines thrown in near the end.
PM says Africa has bright future (April 13, 2002 / Calgary Sun)
PM delivers aid warning to African diplomats (April 12, 2002 / National Post)
Chretien says next century belongs to Africa as trip to region winds down (April 12, 2002 / CP)
World Bank Warns of African Aid, Trade Drought (April 11, 2002 / Inter Press Service) "The Bank, in its annual African Development Indicators 2002 report, said official development assistance to sub-Sahara African countries had fallen to 12.3 billion dollars at the end of 1999, from 17.2 billion dollars in 1990."
Lack of water holds Africa back (April 11, 2002 / Toronto Star) "An international study to be released today warns that there can be no progress on Africa's social, political or economic challenges without immediate action to address acute water shortages on the continent."
Unwed girls could benefit from new well (April 11, 2002 / Globe&Mail)
PM to stay at best hotel on poorest continent (April 11, 2002 / National Post) Doormen in top hats, butlers, white cotton robes embossed with the hotel's gold insignia, French doors opening out onto marbled courtyards lined with palm trees and a four-tiered fountain with water pumped in from an on-site treatment plant; Jean Chrétien tackles poverty with panache.
African states must grade each other: PM (April 11, 2002 / National Post) The much talked-about 'peer review' system is discussed. Excerpt: "Canada and the G8 are willing to spend money in nations that are committed to ending decades of warfare, introducing democratic reform, improving human rights, liberalizing trade and funding health and education programs, said a Canadian official." Notice 'liberalizing trade' - right up there with ending wars and improving human rights... a fundamental measure of human achievement.
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