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Complied by Cass Gilroy-Business Editor

Africa Focus of 2007 G8 Summit-German cabinet announced

Angela Merkel's (pictured left)decision to prioritise Africa on the G8 agenda next year has pleased observers, but they call on the German Chancellor to set her sights much higher than focusing on a handful of African countries. In an announcement on its plans for the 2007 G8 summit, the German cabinet is expected to propose that each G8 member should sign a partnership agreement with one African country. 

Germany's G8 proposal is reported to give preference to those countries that have political reforms underway, democracies in place and are investor-friendly. The German announcement follows an unprecedented campaign by the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP). 

Around the globe, 23 million people 'stood up' to call for an end to unjust global trade rules, the huge burden of debt, insufficient and ineffective aid and self interested economic policies imposed by rich countries that create and sustain poverty in developing countries. 

The announcement from Germany will reportedly emphasize that industrialised countries must consider the social dimension of globalisation, stressing that investment in human capital and resources will pay off in the long term, representing a critical pre-condition for sustainable development. African leaders will be invited for a special economic summit ahead of the G8 in Heiligendamm in Germany next year. Germany is due to take over the presidency of the G8 in 2007, which is currently held by Russia.


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