Een overzicht van bronnen over de G8-topconferentie in Kananaskis, Canada. En twee engelstalige artikelen over NEPAD.

ImageDe G8-topconferentie vindt momenteel plaats in het afgelegen skioord Kananaskis in Alberta, Canada. Demonstranten worden er ver vandaan gehouden, en komen veelal niet verder dan de steden Calgary of Toronto, meer dan 100 km van de conferentie. Ook komen er weer veel meldingen van demonstranten uit de VS die de grens niet overgelaten worden.

Een handig overzicht van informatiebronnen voor nieuws over de G8-protesten:
Overzicht informatiebronnen:

Een achtergrondartikel van IPS en foto's:

Nog meer foto's van De Waarheid Nu hier en hier

Een van de konijnen die de G8-leiders in Kananaskis uit de hoge hoed gaan toveren, is het NEPAD (New Plan for African Development), dat al als ‘Marshallplan voor Afrika’ bejubeld wordt (zie bijvoorbeeld NRC 26/06/2002, helaas niet online). Maar niet door progressieve groepen en vakbonden in Afrika zelf, die stellen dat het hele plan niet veel meer is dan een herhaling van het neoliberale recept van het opengooien van alle markten. Zie bijvoorbeeld
voor veel reacties uit Zuid-Afrika
En het stuk van Patrick Bond bij Znet

Hieronder nog een tweetal artikelen uit de Canadese krant Globe and Mail over NEPAD:

Much-touted reform plan means little to Africans

More Canadians know about 'partnership' among nations than those it's meant to help

By Stephanie Nolen, Globe and Mail, June 27, 2002 - Page A7

ACCRA -- By Africans, for Africans -- with those words, the New Partnership for African Development was heralded by G8 leaders when it was presented at their meeting in Genoa a year ago. This, they said, was a significant departure, an African-born plan for reform on the troubled continent.

Accordingly, the G8 embraced NEPAD, and a response to the plan is on the agenda for the leaders' meeting today (June 27, 2002) in Kananaskis, Alta,(Canada).

The problem is that a majority of Africans have never heard of the plan, under which African leaders have pledged economic liberalization and peer-review monitoring of democratic reforms in exchange for $64-billion (U.S.) in aid and investment they say is needed. Among those Africans who do know what it is, a great many think it's a lousy idea.

The acknowledged power behind NEPAD is South African President Thabo Mbeki; a special team in his office is believed to have written most of the document. Mr. Mbeki, Nigerian leader Olesegun Obasanjo and Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade have been the plan's most prominent faces.

Indeed, one of the main criticisms is that the document was drawn up by the tight clique of leaders with virtually no public consultation.

"More people in Canada know about NEPAD than in Africa," said Yao Graham, the Ghana co-ordinator for an antiglobalization organization called Third World Network. "We, the African people, as always, hear about it later."

NEPAD's defenders counter that there was no time to carry out a grassroots consultation, that the urgency of the problems behooved a few leaders to assume the continent's voice. There was also the question of logistics, with
infrastructure and media being so limited across much of Africa, and the problem of so many citizens being engaged in the exhausting work of subsistence.

Like most of NEPAD's critics, Mr. Graham acknowledged that the plan is born of good intentions and contains valuable elements. He welcomed NEPAD's pledges on good governance and accountability, and the need for an end to conflict.

His real problem lay with the economic-policy section of the document. He said it is merely a dusting-off of the neoliberal economic policies of structural adjustment that had crippling effects on countries such as Ghana when they were imposed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in
the 1980s.

NEPAD doesn't acknowledge the role of international trade barriers, he said -- liberalizing the economy and lowering public spending to stimulate foreign investment has brought Ghana nothing but exacerbated social inequality.

"NEPAD absolves the West of responsibility," he said -- "it must be music to [Western leaders'] ears."

Mr. Graham and the Third World Network are not alone in these criticisms. A May gathering of intellectuals in Nairobi concluded that the agreement merely served to clear the path for "presidential authoritarian regimes that now claim to be democracies all over the continent."

A similar meeting in Accra labelled NEPAD as nothing but a recycling of theories that have failed for two decades in Africa; a newspaper editorial branded it "a wolf in sheep's clothing."

Robert Jamieson, editor of The Chronicle in Malawi, has written that NEPAD is a great theory but obviously doomed to failure: "Good governance and zero tolerance of corruption -- it's a good initiative, but we're dealing with African leaders who have no perception of what's right and what's proper."

The Council for Development and Social Science Research in Africa, a prestigious multinational think tank, has also condemned it.

Other critics note that NEPAD does not spell out how peer review will work, whether it will be a moral undertaking or whether aid will somehow be tied to it. Women's groups have criticized the plan for the complete absence of any recognition of gender inequalities; environmentalists say it relies too much on extractive industries that have historically done great damage in countries such as Sudan and Sierra Leone.

"Our countries are being forced to make ourselves over in one image, as a monoculture," Mr. Graham said.

"We pay a huge price for being invited to the table."

(c) 2002 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Helping those who help Mugabe

By ANNABEL HUGHES Globe and Mail, June 27, 2002

Today, the G8 nations, meeting in Kananaskis, will consider NEPAD -- the New Partnership for Africa's Development. South African President Thabo Mbeki and other African leaders have made it clear that they expect immediate and
generous results: cancellation of debts, a long-term aid package of more than $700-million (U.S.) and cknowledgment of their right to police their own regional affairs without too much Western interference.

In return, the West expects better governance. Both sides are keen to achieve a significant outcome. To do this, both must ignore the inconvenient corpse of Zimbabwe on the conference floor, and the bloodstained, ranting spectre of Robert Mugabe crouched over it.

In once-prosperous Zimbabwe, Mr. Mugabe's people starve while he shuts down productive farms. Women turn to prostitution (exposing themselves to AIDS), as doctors flee, hospitals close, and Mr. Mugabe's henchmen plunder all there is left to plunder.

So, NEPAD will be a chance for the West to recognize and salute those African countries that have so roundly opposed Mr. Mugabe. Won't it? Actually, no. Only President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal has had the guts to criticize Mr. Mugabe. Although President Mbeki and Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo were part of the troika that expelled Zimbabwe from commonwealth
affairs, that gesture of sanity has long since been swallowed by their residual backing for Mr. Mugabe.

The uncomfortable truth is, these African leaders who talk of peer review mechanisms, regional infrastructures and the link between poverty and democracy, who damn any Western leader critical of African despotism -- these have backed Mr. Mugabe all along his three-year tramp into the heart
of darkness.

The Organization for African Unity unequivocally backed Mr. Mugabe in July, 2000, and July, 2001. It will do so again this year. The Southern Africa Development Community has done so as well. Presidents Daniel arap Moi of Kenya, Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania, Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia, Joseph Kabila of Congo and others endorsed Mr. Mugabe's flagrant heist of the 2002 elections. So, we might note, did the observers from South Africa and Nigeria.

The African countries, led by South Africa, even found a place for Zimbabwe on the UN's Human Rights Commission just two months ago. Think on that: Mr. Mugabe's regime on an international human-rights committee.

And supposedly sensible figures such as President Obasanjo of Nigeria and foreign minister Lilian Patel of Malawi have stolidly laid the blame for Zimbabwe's woes at the U.K.'s door.

When Mr. Obasanjo, Mozambique's Joaquim Chissano and Mr. Mbeki met in March to sketch out their expectations from NEPAD, they studiously ignored the Zimbabwe crisis. The much-vaunted engagement of these African leaders with
Mr. Mugabe has served only to prop him up and provide ammunition for Jonathan Moyo's propaganda ministry.

Why does the West, as represented by the G8, buy this? In part, it is because the likes of Mr. Obasanjo and Mr. Mbeki play on the liberal sensibilities of Western leaders and Western media like so many stringed instruments. Thus Great Britain's Tony Blair contemplates a continent smashed by corrupt, incompetent governments -- and describes it as a "scar on the conscience of the world." Some Western leaders believe that confrontation will prove unproductive; others reach for the handy platitude that we should not condemn all for the follies of the one.

Mr. Mugabe will not benefit directly from NEPAD. We should at least be thankful for that. But by rewarding African regimes, the G8 will be pressing money into the hands of his fences, getaway drivers, and apologists. And Mr. Mugabe will certainly draw strength from seeing that his friends need pay no price for their ill-conceived loyalty to him. So will the likes of President Bakili Muluzi of Malawi and Kenya's Mr. Moi, both contemplating their own Mugabe-esque episodes.

The British taxpayer is to be asked to buy comfort for those who are torturing his kith and kin, and imposing famine on millions in the process.
This is an extraordinary thing for Prime Minister Blair's government to sell to the British electorate. So he probably won't mention it.

All other international packages have failed to raise Africa from the mire. Will this one to be any different? Maybe, if NEPAD would pass just one test: The G8 should only begin to pour forth its bounty once Africa has condemned
Mr. Mugabe and expelled him from its councils. Anything else is a fudge.
Anything else just serves to benefit the swaggering thugs in the empty Zimbabwean fields, the obese politburo in five-star Harare hotels, Mr. Mugabe himself and a long line of potential dictators, all waiting for their turn to have their way with their countries.

But there will be no test. The African leaders will purr away in their cars, their eyes full of dollars. The world, and articularly Africa and Zimbabwe, will be the poorer for it. And then you and I can pick up the bill.

Annabel Hughes is publisher of zwnews.com.

(c) 2002 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.








(Dit artikel was oorspronkelijk op GlobalInfo gepubliceerd door Kees Stad.)