"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] G8 Africa Action Plan

[Place] Kananaskis
[Date] June 27, 2002
[Source] http://www.g8.gc.ca/menu-e.asp
[Full text]

We, the Heads of State and Government of eight major industrialized democracies and the Representatives of the European Union, meeting with African Leaders at Kananaskis, welcome the initiative taken by African States in adopting the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), a bold and clear-sighted vision of Africa's development. We accept the invitation from African Leaders, extended first at Genoa last July and reaffirmed in the NEPAD, to build a new partnership between the countries of Africa and our own, based on mutual responsibility and respect. The NEPAD provides an historic opportunity to overcome obstacles to development in Africa. Our Africa Action Plan is the G8's initial response, designed to encourage the imaginative effort that underlies the NEPAD and to lay a solid foundation for future cooperation.

2. The case for action is compelling. Despite its great potential and human resources, Africa continues to face some of the world's greatest challenges. The many initiatives designed to spur Africa's development have failed to deliver sustained improvements to the lives of individual women, men and children throughout Africa.

3. The New Partnership for Africa's Development offers something different. It is, first and foremost, a pledge by African Leaders to the people of Africa to consolidate democracy and sound economic management, and to promote peace, security and people-centred development. African Leaders have personally directed its creation and implementation. They have formally undertaken to hold each other accountable for its achievement. They have emphasized good governance and human rights as necessary preconditions for Africa's recovery. They focus on investment-driven economic growth and economic governance as the engine for poverty reduction, and on the importance of regional and sub-regional partnerships within Africa.

4. We welcome this commitment. In support of the NEPAD objectives, we each undertake to establish enhanced partnerships with African countries whose performance reflects the NEPAD commitments. Our partners will be selected on the basis of measured results. This will lead us to focus our efforts on countries that demonstrate a political and financial commitment to good governance and the rule of law, investing in their people, and pursuing policies that spur economic growth and alleviate poverty. We will match their commitment with a commitment on our own part to promote peace and security in Africa, to boost expertise and capacity, to encourage trade and direct growth-oriented investment, and to provide more effective official development assistance.

5. Together, we have an unprecedented opportunity to make progress on our common goals of eradicating extreme poverty and achieving sustainable development. The new round of multilateral trade negotiations begun at Doha, the Monterrey meeting on financing for development, this G8 Summit at Kananaskis and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, are key milestones in this process.

6. NEPAD recognizes that the prime responsibility for Africa's future lies with Africa itself. We will continue to support African efforts to encourage public engagement in the NEPAD and we will continue to consult with our African partners on how we can best assist their own efforts. G8 governments are committed to mobilize and energize global action, marshal resources and expertise, and provide impetus in support of the NEPAD's objectives. As G8 partners, we will undertake mutually reinforcing actions to help Africa accelerate growth and make lasting gains against poverty. Our Action Plan focuses on a limited number of priority areas where, collectively and individually, we can add value.

7. The African peer-review process is an innovative and potentially decisive element in the attainment of the objectives of the NEPAD. We welcome the adoption on June 11 by the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee of the Declaration on Democracy, Political, Economic and Corporate Governance and the African Peer Review Mechanism. The peer-review process will inform our considerations of eligibility for enhanced partnerships. We will each make our own assessments in making these partnership decisions. While we will focus particular attention on enhanced-partnership countries, we will also work with countries that do not yet meet the standards of NEPAD but which are clearly committed to and working towards its implementation. We will not work with governments which disregard the interests and dignity of their people.

8. However, as a matter of strong principle, our commitment to respond to situations of humanitarian need remains universal and is independent of particular regimes. So, too, is our commitment to addressing the core issues of human dignity and development. The Development Goals set out in the United Nations Millennium Declaration are an important component of this engagement.

9. At Monterrey, in March 2002, we agreed to revitalize efforts to help unlock and more effectively utilize all development resources including domestic savings, trade and investment, and official development assistance. A clear link was made between good governance, sound policies, aid effectiveness and development success. In support of this strong international consensus, substantial new development assistance commitments were announced at Monterrey. By 2006, these new commitments will increase ODA by a total of US$12 billion per year. Each of us will decide, in accordance with our respective priorities and procedures, how we will allocate the additional money we have pledged. Assuming strong African policy commitments, and given recent assistance trends, we believe that in aggregate half or more of our new development assistance could be directed to African nations that govern justly, invest in their own people and promote economic freedom. In this way we will support the objectives of the NEPAD. This will help ensure that no country genuinely committed to poverty reduction, good governance and economic reform will be denied the chance to achieve the Millennium Goals through lack of finance.

10. We will pursue this Action Plan in our individual and collective capacities, and through the international institutions to which we belong. We warmly invite other countries to join us. We also encourage South-South cooperation and collaboration with international institutions and civil society, including the business sector, in support of the NEPAD. We will continue to maintain a constructive dialogue with our African partners in order to achieve effective implementation of our Action Plan and to support the objectives of the NEPAD. We will take the necessary steps to ensure the effective implementation of our Action Plan and will review progress at our next Summit based on a final report from our Personal Representatives for Africa.

11. To demonstrate our support for this new partnership, we make the following engagements in support of the NEPAD:

I. Promoting Peace and Security

Time and again, progress in Africa has been undermined or destroyed by conflict and insecurity. Families have been displaced and torn apart, and the use of child soldiers has robbed many individuals of the opportunity to learn, while also sowing the seeds of long-term national disruption, instability and poverty. Economic development has been deeply undermined as scarce resources needed to fight poverty have too often been wasted in deadly and costly armed conflicts. We are determined to make conflict prevention and resolution a top priority, and therefore we commit to:

1.1 Supporting African efforts to resolve the principal armed conflicts on the continent including by:

- Providing additional support to efforts to bring peace to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan, and to consolidate peace in Angola and Sierra Leone within the next year;

- Assisting with programmes of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; at the appropriate time,

- Taking joint action to support post-conflict development in the Great Lakes Region and Sudan; and,

- Endorsing the proposals from the UN Secretary-General to set up, with the Secretary-General and other influential partners, contact groups and similar mechanisms to work with African countries to resolve specific African conflicts.

1.2 Providing technical and financial assistance so that, by 2010, African countries and regional and sub-regional organizations are able to engage more effectively to prevent and resolve violent conflict on the continent, and undertake peace support operations in accordance with the United Nations Charter ミ including by:

- Continuing to work with African partners to deliver a joint plan, by 2003, for the development of African capability to undertake peace support operations, including at the regional level;

- Training African peace support forces including through the development of regional centres of excellence for military and civilian aspects of conflict prevention and peace support, such as the Kofi Annan International Peace Training Centre; and,

- Better coordinating our respective peacekeeping training initiatives.

1.3 Supporting efforts by African countries and the United Nations to better regulate the activities of arms brokers and traffickers and to eliminate the flow of illicit weapons to and within Africa ミ including by:

- Developing and adopting common guidelines to prevent the illegal supply of arms to Africa; and,

- Providing assistance in regional trans-border cooperation to this end.

1.4 Supporting African efforts to eliminate and remove antipersonnel mines.

1.5 Working with African governments, civil society and others to address the linkage between armed conflict and the exploitation of natural resources ミ including by:

- Supporting United Nations and other initiatives to monitor and address the illegal exploitation and international transfer of natural resources from Africa which fuel armed conflicts, including mineral resources, petroleum, timber and water;

- Supporting voluntary control efforts such as the Kimberley Process for diamonds, and encouraging the adoption of voluntary principles of corporate social responsibility by those involved in developing Africa's national resources;

- Working to ensure better accountability and greater transparency with respect to those involved in the import or export of Africa's natural resources from areas of conflict;

- Promoting regional management of trans-boundary natural resources, including by supporting the Congo Basin Initiative and trans-border river basin commissions.

1.6 Providing more effective peace-building support to societies emerging from or seeking to prevent armed conflicts ミ including by:

- Supporting effective African-led reconciliation efforts, including both pre-conflict and post-conflict initiatives; and,

- Encouraging more effective coordination and cooperation among donors and international institutions in support of peace-building and conflict prevention efforts ミ particularly with respect to the effective disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants, the collection and destruction of small arms, and the special needs of women and children, including child soldiers.

1.7 Working to enhance African capacities to protect and assist war-affected populations and facilitate the effective implementation in Africa of United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to civilians, women and children in armed conflict ミ including by supporting African countries hosting, assisting and protecting large refugee populations

II. Strengthening Institutions and Governance

The NEPAD maintains that "development is impossible in the absence of true democracy, respect for human rights, peace and good governance". We agree, and it has been our experience that reliable institutions and governance are a precondition for long-term or large-scale private investment. The task of strengthening institutions and governance is thus both urgent and of paramount importance, and for this reason, we commit to:

2.1 Supporting the NEPAD's priority political governance objectives ミ including by:

- Expanding capacity-building programmes related to political governance in Africa focusing on the NEPAD priority areas of: improving administrative and civil services, strengthening parliamentary oversight, promoting participatory decision-making, and judicial reform;

- Supporting African efforts to ensure that electoral processes are credible and transparent, and that elections are conducted in a manner that is free and fair and in accordance with the NEPAD's commitment to uphold and respect "global standards of democracy";

- Supporting African efforts to involve parliamentarians and civil society in all aspects of the NEPAD process; and,

- Supporting the reform of the security sector through assisting the development of an independent judiciary and democratically controlled police structures.

2.2 Strengthening capacity-building programmes related to economic and corporate governance in Africa focusing on the NEPAD priority areas of implementing sound macro-economic strategies, strengthening public financial management and accountability, protecting the integrity of monetary and financial systems, strengthening accounting and auditing systems, and developing an effective corporate governance framework ミ including by:

- Supporting international and African organizations such as the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and the African Regional Technical Assistance Centres (AFRITACs) initiative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in expanding regionally-oriented technical assistance and capacity-building programmes in Africa; and,

- Financing African-led research on economic governance issues (through the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), sub-regional and regional organizations, and other African institutions and organizations with relevant expertise).

2.3 Supporting African peer-review arrangements ミ including by:

- Encouraging cooperation with respect to peer-review practices, modalities and experiences between the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the ECA, including the participation by the ECA in the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) peer-review process where the countries under review so agree;

- Encouraging, where appropriate, substantive information sharing between Africa and its partners with respect to items under peer-review; and,

- Supporting regional organizations in developing tools to facilitate peer-review processes.

2.4 Giving increased attention to and support for African efforts to promote and protect human rights ミ including by:

- Supporting human rights activities and national, regional and sub-regional human rights institutions in Africa;

- Supporting African efforts to implement human rights obligations undertaken by African governments; and,

- Supporting African efforts to promote reconciliation and to ensure accountability for violations of human rights and humanitarian law, including genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes.

2.5 Supporting African efforts to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women ミ including by:

- Supporting African efforts to achieve equal participation of African women in all aspects of the NEPAD process and in fulfilling the NEPAD objectives; and,

- Supporting the application of gender main-streaming in all policies and programmes.

2.6 Intensifying support for the adoption and implementation of effective measures to combat corruption, bribery and embezzlement ミ including by:

- Working to secure the early establishment of a UN Convention on Corruption, and the early ratification of the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime;

- Strengthening and assisting the implementation and monitoring of the OECD Convention on Bribery and assisting anti-bribery and anti-corruption programmes through the international financial institutions (IFIs) and the multilateral development banks;

- Intensifying international cooperation to recover illicitly acquired financial assets;

- Supporting voluntary anti-corruption initiatives, such as the DAC Guidelines, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and the UN Global Compact;

- Supporting the role of parliamentarians in addressing corruption and promoting good governance; and,

- Assisting African countries in their efforts to combat money laundering, including supporting World Bank/IMF efforts to improve coordination in the delivery of technical assistance to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in African countries.

III. Fostering Trade, Investment, Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

Generating economic growth is central to the NEPAD's goal of mobilizing resources for poverty reduction and development. A comprehensive effort is required to stimulate economic activity in all productive sectors while paying particular attention to sustainability and social costs and to the role of the private sector as the engine for economic growth. In this context, the particular importance of infrastructure has been emphasized by our African partners ミ including as a domain for public-private investment partnerships, and as a key component of regional integration and development. In order to achieve adequate growth rates, Africa must have broader access to markets. The launch of multilateral trade negotiations by World Trade Organization (WTO) members in Doha, which placed the needs and interests of developing countries at the heart of the negotiations, will help create a framework for the integration of African countries into the world trading system and the global economy, thus creating increased opportunities for trade-based growth. We are committed to the Doha development agenda and to implementing fully the WTO work programme, as well as to providing increased trade-related technical assistance to help African countries participate effectively in these negotiations. With these considerations in mind, we commit to:

3.1 Helping Africa attract investment, both from within Africa and from abroad, and implement policies conducive to economic growth ミ including by:

- Supporting African initiatives aimed at improving the investment climate, including sound economic policies and efforts to improve the security of goods and transactions, consolidate property rights, modernize customs, institute needed legal and judicial reforms, and help mitigate risks for investors;

- Facilitating the financing of private investment through increased use of development finance institutions and export credit and risk-guarantee agencies and by strengthening equivalent institutions in Africa;

- Supporting African initiatives aimed at fostering efficient and sustainable regional financial markets and domestic savings and financing structures, including micro-credit schemes ミ while giving particular attention to seeing that credit and business support services meet the needs of poor women and men;

- Enhancing international cooperation to promote greater private investment and growth in Africa, including through public-private partnerships; and,

- Supporting the efforts of African governments to obtain sovereign credit ratings and gain access to private capital markets, including on a regional basis.

3.2 Facilitating capacity-building and the transfer of expertise for the development of infrastructure projects, with particular attention to regional initiatives.

3.3 Providing greater market access for African products ミ including by:

- Reaffirming our commitment to conclude negotiations no later than 1 January 2005 on further trade liberalization in the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations taking full account of the particular circumstances, needs and requirements of developing countries, including in Africa;

- Without prejudging the outcome of the negotiations, applying our Doha commitment to comprehensive negotiations on agriculture aimed at substantial improvements in market access, reductions of all forms of export subsidies with a view to their being phased out, and substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic support;

- Working toward the objective of duty-free and quota-free access for all products originating from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), including African LDCs, and, to this end, each examining how to facilitate the fuller and more effective use of existing market access arrangements; and,

- Ensuring that national product standards do not unnecessarily restrict African exports and that African nations can play their full part in the relevant international standard setting systems.

3.4 Increasing the funding and improving the quality of support for trade-related technical assistance and capacity-building in Africa ミ including by:

- Supporting the establishment and expansion of trade-related technical assistance programmes in Africa;

- Supporting the establishment of sub-regional market and trade information offices to support trade-related technical assistance and capacity-building in Africa;

- Assisting regional organizations in their efforts to integrate trade policy into member country development plans;

- Working to increase African participation in identifying WTO-related technical assistance needs, and providing technical assistance to African countries to implement international agreements, such as the WTO agreement;

- Assisting African producers in meeting product and health standards in export markets; and,

- Providing technical assistance to help African countries engage in international negotiations, and in standard-setting systems.

3.5 Supporting African efforts to advance regional economic integration and intra-African trade ミ including by:

- Helping African countries develop regional institutions in key sectors affecting regional integration, including infrastructure, water, food security and energy, and sustainable management and conservation of natural resources;

- Working towards enhanced market access, on a WTO-compatible basis, for trade with African free trade areas or customs unions;

- Supporting the efforts of African countries to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers within Africa in a WTO-consistent manner; and,

- Supporting efforts by African countries to work towards lowering trade barriers on imports from the rest of the world.

3.6 Improving the effectiveness of Official Development Assistance (ODA), and strengthening ODA commitments for enhanced-partnership countries ミ including by:

- Ensuring effective implementation of the OECD/DAC recommendations on untying aid to the Least Developed Countries;

- Implementing effectively the OECD agreement to ensure that export credit support to low-income countries is not used for unproductive purposes;

- Supporting efforts within the DAC to reduce aid management burdens on recipient countries and lower the transactions costs of aid;

- Taking all necessary steps to implement the pledges we made at Monterrey, including ODA level increases and aid effectiveness; and,

- Reviewing annually, within the DAC and in coordination with all relevant institutions, our progress towards the achievement in Africa of the Development Goals contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

IV. Implementing Debt Relief

4.1 Our aim is to assist countries through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative to reduce poverty by enabling them to exit the HIPC process with a sustainable level of debt. The HIPC Initiative will reduce, by US$19 billion (net present value terms), the debt of some 22 African countries that are following sound economic policies and good governance. Combined with traditional debt relief and additional bilateral debt forgiveness, this represents a reduction of some US$30 billion ミ about two-thirds of their total debt burden ミ that will allow an important shift of resources towards education, health and other social and productive uses.

4.2 Debt relief alone, however, no matter how generous, cannot guarantee long-term debt sustainability. Sound policies, good governance, prudent new borrowing, and sound debt management by HIPCs, as well as responsible financing by creditors, will be necessary to ensure debt sustainability. We are committed to seeing that the projected shortfall in the HIPC Trust Fund is fully financed. Moreover, we remain ready, as necessary, to provide additional debt relief ミ so-called "topping up" ミ on a case-by-case basis, to countries that have suffered a fundamental change in their economic circumstances due to extraordinary external shocks. In that context these countries must continue to demonstrate a commitment to poverty reduction, sound financial management, and good governance. We will fund our share of the shortfall in the HIPC Initiative, recognizing that this shortfall could be up to US$1 billion. We call on other creditor countries to join us. Once countries exit the HIPC process, we expect they will not need additional relief under this Initiative. We support an increase in the use of grants for the poorest and debt-vulnerable countries in IDA 13, and look forward to its rapid adoption.

V. Expanding Knowledge: Improving and Promoting Education and Expanding Digital Opportunities

Investing in education is critical to economic and social development in Africa, and to providing Africans with greater opportunities for personal and collective advancement. Education also holds the key to important goals such as achieving full gender equality for women and girls. Yet most African countries have made poor progress towards the attainment of the Dakar Education for All (EFA) goals. In addition, the capacity of information and communications technology (ICT) to help Africa exploit digital opportunities, has not yet been realized. ICT has been identified by the NEPAD as a targeted priority for economic and human development in Africa. With this in mind, we commit to:

5.1 Supporting African countries in their efforts to improve the quality of education at all levels ミ including by:

- Significantly increasing the support provided by our bilateral aid agencies to basic education for countries with a strong policy and financial commitment to the sector, in order to achieve the goals of universal primary education and equal access to education for girls. In that regard we will work vigorously to operationalize the G8 Education Task Force report with a view to helping African countries which have shown through their actions a strong policy and financial commitment to education to achieve these goals; and to encourage other African countries to take the necessary steps so that they, too, can achieve universal primary education by 2015;

- Supporting the development and implementation by African countries of national educational plans that reflect the Dakar goals on Education for All, and encouraging support for those plans ミ particularly universal primary education ミ by the international community as an integral part of the national development strategies;

- Giving special emphasis and support to teacher training initiatives, in line with the NEPAD priorities, and the creation of accountability mechanisms and EFA assessment processes;

- Working with IFIs to increase their education-related spending, as a further supplement to bilateral and other efforts;

- Supporting the development of a client-driven "Education for All" Internet portal;

- Supporting programmes to encourage attendance and enhance academic performance, such as school feeding programmes; and,

- Supporting the development of community learning centres to develop the broader educational needs of local communities.

5.2 Supporting efforts to ensure equal access to education by women and girls ミ including by:

- Providing scholarships and other educational support for women and girls; and,

- Supporting African efforts to break down social, cultural and other barriers to equal access by women and girls to educational opportunities.

5.3 Working with African partners to increase assistance to Africa's research and higher education capacity in enhanced-partnership countries ミ including by:

- Supporting the development of research centres and the establishment of chairs of excellence in areas integral to the NEPAD in Africa; and,

- Favouring the exchange of visiting academics and encouraging research partnerships between G8/donor and African research institutions.

5.4 Helping Africa create digital opportunities ミ including by:

- Encouraging the Digital Opportunity Task Force (DOT Force) International e-Development Resources Network to focus on Africa, and supporting other DOT Force initiatives that can help to create digital opportunities, each building wherever possible on African initiatives already underway;

- Working towards the goal of universal access to ICT by working with African countries to improve national, regional and international telecommunications and ICT regulations and policies in order to create ICT-friendly environments;

- Encouraging and supporting the development of public-private partnerships to fast- track the development of ICT infrastructure; and,

- Supporting entrepreneurship and human resource development of Africans within the ICT Sector.

5.5 Helping Africa make more effective use of ICT in the context of promoting sustainable economic, social and political development ミ including by:

- Supporting African initiatives to make best use of ICT to address education and health issues; and,

- Supporting African countries in increasing access to, and making the best use of, ICT in support of governance, including by supporting the development and implementation of national e-strategies and e-governance initiatives aimed at increased efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability of government.

VI. Improving Health and Confronting HIV/AIDS

The persistence of diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis has remained a severe obstacle to Africa's development. To this burden has been added the devastating personal and societal costs resulting from AIDS, the consequences of which stand to undermine all efforts to promote development in Africa. The result has been a dramatic decrease in life expectancy in Africa and a significant new burden on African health systems and economies. Substantial efforts are needed to confront the health challenges that Africa faces, including the need to enhance immunization efforts directed at polio and other preventable diseases. Therefore, recognizing that HIV/AIDS affects all aspects of Africa's future development and should therefore be a factor in all aspects of our support for Africa, we commit to:

6.1 Helping Africa combat the effects of HIV/AIDS ミ including by:

- Supporting programmes that help mothers and children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, including children orphaned by AIDS;

- Supporting the strengthening of training facilities for the recruiting and training of health professionals;

- Supporting the development, adoption and implementation of gender-sensitive, multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS programs for prevention, care, and treatment;

- Supporting high level political engagement to increase awareness and reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS;

- Supporting initiatives to improve technical capacity, including disease surveillance;

- Supporting efforts to develop strong partnerships with employers in increasing HIV/AIDS awareness and in providing support to victims and their families;

- Supporting efforts that integrate approaches that address both HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; and,

- Helping to enhance the capacity of Africa to address the challenges that HIV/AIDS poses to peace and security in Africa.

6.2 Supporting African efforts to build sustainable health systems in order to deliver effective disease interventions ミ including by:

- Pressing ahead with current work with the international pharmaceutical industry, affected African countries and civil society to promote the availability of an adequate supply of life-saving medicines in an affordable and medically effective manner;

- Supporting African countries in helping to promote more effective, and cost-effective, health interventions to the most vulnerable sectors of society ミ including reducing maternal and infant mortality and morbidity;

- Continuing support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and working to ensure that the Fund continues to increase the effectiveness of its operations and learns from its experience;

- Supporting African efforts to increase Africa's access to the Global Fund and helping to enhance Africa's capacity to participate in and benefit from the Fund;

- Providing assistance to strengthen the capacity of the public sector to monitor the quality of health services offered by both public and private providers; and,

- Supporting and encouraging the twinning of hospitals and other health organizations between G8 and African countries.

6.3 Accelerating the elimination and mitigation in Africa of polio, river blindness and other diseases or health deficiencies ミ including by:

- Providing, on a fair and equitable basis, sufficient resources to eliminate polio by 2005; and,

- Supporting relevant public-private partnerships for the immunization of children and the elimination of micro-nutrient deficiencies in Africa.

6.4 Supporting health research on diseases prevalent in Africa, with a view to narrowing the health research gap, including by expanding health research networks to focus on African health issues, and by making more extensive use of researchers based in Africa.

VII. Increasing Agricultural Productivity

The overwhelming majority of Africa's population is rural. Agriculture is therefore the principal economic preoccupation for most of Africa's people. Agriculture is central not only to the quality of life of most Africans, but also to the national economy of nearly all African states. Increased agricultural production, efficiency and diversification are central to the economic growth strategies of these countries. In support of the NEPAD's growth and sustainable development initiatives on agriculture, we commit to:

7.1 Making support for African agriculture a higher international priority in line with the NEPAD's framework and priorities ミ including by:

- Supporting the reform and financing of international institutions and research organizations that address Africa's agricultural development priority needs;

- Supporting efforts to strengthen agricultural research in Africa as well as research related to issues and aspects that are of particular importance to Africa; and,

- Working with African countries to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of ODA for agriculture, rural development and food security where there are coherent development strategies reflected in government budget priorities.

7.2 Working with African countries to reduce poverty through improved sustainable productivity and competitiveness ミ including by:

- Supporting the development and the responsible use of tried and tested new technology, including biotechnology, in a safe manner and adapted to the African context, to increase crop production while protecting the environment through decreased usage of fragile land, water and agricultural chemicals;

- Studying, sharing and facilitating the responsible use of biotechnology in addressing development needs;

- Helping to improve farmers' access to key market information through the use of traditional and cutting edge communications technologies, while also building upon ongoing international collaboration that strengthens farmers' entrepreneurial skills;

- Encouraging partnerships in agriculture and water research and extension to develop, adapt and adopt appropriate demand-driven technologies, including for low-income resource-poor farmers, to increase agricultural productivity and improve ability to market agricultural, fish and food products;

- Working with African countries to promote property and resource rights;

- Supporting the main-streaming of gender issues into all agricultural and related policy together with targeted measures to ensure the rights of women for equal access to technology, technical support, land rights and credits;

- Working with African countries to support the development of agricultural infrastructure including production, transportation and markets; and,

- Working with African countries to develop sound agricultural policies that are integrated into Poverty Reduction Strategies.

7.3 Working to improve food security in Africa ミ including by:

- Working with African countries to integrate food security in poverty reduction efforts and promote a policy and institutional environment that enables poor people to derive better livelihoods from agriculture and rural development;

- Working with appropriate international organizations in responding to the dire food shortages in Southern Africa this year;

- Working with African countries to expand efforts to improve the quality and diversity of diets with micro-nutrients and by improving fortification technologies;

- Supporting African efforts to establish food safety and quality control systems, including helping countries develop legislation, enforcement procedures and appropriate institutional frameworks; and,

- Supporting efforts to improve and better disseminate agricultural technology.

VIII. Improving Water Resource Management

Water is essential to life. Its importance spans a wide range of critical uses ミ from human drinking water, to sanitation, to food security and agriculture, to economic activity, to protecting the natural environment. We have noted the importance of proper water resource management. We note also that water management is sometimes at the centre of threats to regional peace and security. We also appreciate the importance of good water management for achieving sustainable economic growth and development, and therefore we commit to:

8. Supporting African efforts to improve water resource development and management ミ including by:

- Supporting African efforts to promote the productive and environmentally sustainable development of water resources;

- Supporting efforts to improve sanitation and access to potable water;

- Mobilizing technical assistance to facilitate and accelerate the preparation of potable water and sanitation projects in both rural and urban areas, and to generate greater efficiency in these sectors; and,

- Supporting reforms in the water sector aimed at decentralization, cost-recovery and enhanced user participation.