Debt relief for Africa

I hope that the watershed event of this past week- end does not go by unnoticed. The write-off of the debt owed by a number of African nations to the World Bank, the IMF and rich western nations is a momentous event, the impact of which is enormous. The role of Gordon Brown, the “finance minister” of Britain cannot be under-estimated. In fact all of the finance ministers of the G8 nations can take a bow.
What Africa does with this windfall is the issue now. I have faith in my fellow Africans, I believe that they will spend the money on curbing AIDS, on education,on health, medicine and on housing.
I read that at first the United States President George Bush was not prepared to accede, but after intervention from British Prime Minister Tony Blair the US president eventually gave in. Judging from the reception that he gave to the African heads of state on Monday one would be forgiven for thinking that this whole program of debt relief was a American idea from the start.
I wonder if Bob Geldof, the singer and activist, will still go ahead with the call for one million poeple to march on Edinburgh during the G8 summit in July.

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