African Leaders Discuss ‘Code of Conduct’ for Nations Seeking Foreign Aid
Political leaders from 19 African countries met in Nigeria yesterday to decide upon a "code of conduct" that countries needing financial assistance would follow, the AP/Baltimore Sun reports. The United Kingdom, South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria created the assistance plan, called the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) (AP/Baltimore Sun, 3/27). A statement from the meeting said that the heads of state approved the plan, by which Africans will monitor how the continent's leaders and governments "comply with benchmarks for economic and corporate management" to be eligible to receive foreign aid, which would assist countries in the fight against HIV/AIDS (Chiahemen, Reuters/Washington Times, 3/27). Political leaders attending the G8 summit in Genoa, Italy, last year accepted the plan "in principle," but developed countries have called on African leaders to develop "clear conditions for development assistance," including political and economic reforms, peace, security and "stable conditions for banking, agriculture and other sectors." During the meeting yesterday, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo called on other African leaders to draft a code of conduct for countries seeking aid under NEPAD, adding that leaders must demonstrate "a commitment to developing health and education in their countries" (AP/Baltimore Sun, 3/27). The United States has been looking at a variety of new foreign aid approaches for developing nations. President Bush in July recommended that the World Bank provide up to 50% of its financial assistance to developing nations in the form of direct grants instead of loans for areas such as health care (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/18/01). In addition, he has proposed steadily increasing over three years U.S. aid to developing countries starting in 2004. Aid would increase about 30% over the three years, with the additional amount in 2006 equaling about $5 million (Blustein, Washington Post, 3/19). NEPAD estimates that Africa needs $64 billion of annual investment to "ensure" annual growth (Reuters/Washington Times, 3/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.