The Africa Progress Panel was today launched in Berlin. Its distinguished membership of Kofi Annan, Michel Camdessus, Peter Eigen, Bob Geldof, Graça Machel, Robert Rubin and Muhammad Yunus pledged to work together with Africa and its development partners to make sure that existing commitments to Africa's development are kept.
In introducing the Panel today, its chairman, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, emphasised the Panel's belief that Africa faces enormous change and the urgent imperative this creates for the world to deliver on its promises on Africa. Commenting on the challenge ahead, Annan said: "Africa has huge potential and appetite for change – the world has an equal stake in seizing this opportunity to become true partners in Africa's efforts to achieve the MDGs.
The Africa Progress Panel is committed to helping them do this". The APP is an independent body with a unique and authoritative membership. It sees a clear remit against which it will deliver. In Berlin today, it defined its role as engaging face-to-face with leaders and policy-makers, to make them aware of the progress they are making on Africa, compelling them to face the challenges and accelerate progress towards agreed goals.
The Panel today presented its first public communiqué, which focuses on the key areas for future work in Africa: good governance, peace and security, productive investment, employment creation and trade, a healthy and educated population, and predictable financing.
The Panel will start its work immediately, meeting with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, this evening to emphasise the need for a forward-looking focus on delivering G8 commitments in advance of June's G8 summit at Heiligendamm.