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Statement by Peter Eigen, Founder and Chair of the Advisory Council, Transparency International

At Gleneagles in 2005, the leaders of the Group of Eight made ambitious promises to help the world’s poorest, particularly in Africa, out of the poverty trap. Prime Minister Blair has officially announced the formation of the Africa Progress Panel, which will monitor the world’s wealthiest nations to follow through on those promises.

The Prime Minister has asked me to serve on this panel alongside such distinguished members as Kofi Annan, Olusegun Obasanjo and Bob Geldof. The panel is being convened at a crucial moment, as the leaders of the G8 prepare to meet once again in St. Petersburg. Though much progress has been made, it is not nearly enough. I look to the leaders of the G8 to make sure that good governance and the fight against poverty, particularly in Africa, remain high on their agenda as the talks begin.

And I look further to 2007 when my home country, Germany, will host the G8 summit and take on the presidency of the European Union. Now is the time to ensure that development goals, in particular on primary education, health care, aids treatment and improved infrastructure take centre stage at next year’s summit as well.

I consider good governance an essential pre-condition to any sustainable action against poverty, both for the domestic development of poor countries and for investment and development assistance from wealthier ones. And civil society is essential in promoting good governance at every step of the development chain, from assessing the need for aid to monitoring its distribution and evaluating its effectiveness. As a member of the Africa Progress Panel, I will endeavour to be an independent voice for global civil society, based on my experience in the field of development and as founder and, for many years, Chairman of Transparency International, the global non-governmental organisation leading the fight against corruption.

I am honoured to accept the Prime Minister’s offer.

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Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption.

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