Outcomes for Africa – The 2008 G8 Summit

From the ONE Blog.

African development was again the subject of G8 discussions as world leaders gathered in Toyako, Hokkaido in northern Japan from July 7-9 for the 2008 G8 Summit. While the G8 was confronted with multiple global challenges, including climate change and a weakening global economy, the 2008 Hokkaido Summit marked an important “mid point” moment in the fight against poverty. The Hokkaido Summit came at the critical halfway point to both the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the G8 Gleneagles promises to Africa. The G8 are dangerously behind on their landmark commitments to the region, having delivered only $3 billion of the promised $25 billion in additional assistance to Africa by 2010, according to the 2008 DATA Report.

After difficult negotiations, the G8 summit yielded small gains for the poorest. The bulk of G8 agreements on development and Africa and food security reiterated previous pledges rather than outlining new measures to get the group back on track. The G8 did announce plans for a new effort to tackle the global food crisis, though more details are needed to ensure its effectiveness and delivery. They highlighted the UN High-level meeting on the MDGs in September as an important opportunity to review progress and identify actions needed to overcome remaining challenges.

At a time when G8 credibility is at risk due to slow progress in delivering on commitments, there was a strong call for greater accountability in the G8 Communique. The G8 agreed to track progress against previous commitments in health, education, water and agriculture, as well as its compliance with anti-corruption measures.

Overall, the US, UK and Germany provided strong leadership in negotiations and have significantly increased their funding for Africa in recent years.

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