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The Africa Commission Report: What About the Politics?


Written by David Booth

‘New ideas and actions for a strong and prosperous Africa’ – that is what Tony Blair’s Africa Commission was aiming at in its Report of March this year. Did it succeed? Truly fresh ideas were always going to be a tall order. But what the  commission could reasonably have expected to achieve is a synthesis of the best current thinking on how to turn around Africa’s development. Getting the G8 to act with new vigour on the range of known remedies for the continent’s chronic sicknesses is a sufficiently inspiring objective on its own.  By this standard, how does the Report measure up? The answer has to be ‘good but could have done better’. There are many excellent and some innovative things in it. There are also some quite significant blind spots and missed opportunities.

David Booth