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Africa Progress Panel inaugurated in Berlin

TI hopes panel will succeed in holding the global community accountable for promises to end poverty

Transparency International has high hopes that the Africa Progress Panel (APP), being launched in Berlin today, will succeed in demanding accountability on promises made on supporting development and fighting poverty in Africa.

“The panel has its work cut out for it,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International. “Even after decades of initiatives and ideas on how to lift the world’s most desperate citizens out of suffering and deprivation, Africa faces staggering human challenges, which cannot afford to be complicated by corruption and weak institutions. We recognise that progress has been made, but the Africa Progress Panel can go a long way to ensuring that promises, such as those made at the G8 Summit at Gleneagles in 2005, are kept.”

The APP’s mission is to monitor commitments made by bodies such as the G8 and the European Union on aid and Africa, with an eye to the imperatives set by the Millennium Development Goals. The panel is chaired by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and funded by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. Its members include Peter Eigen, Bob Geldof, Graça Machel, Michel Camdessus, Robert Rubin and Muhammad Yunus.

As founder of Transparency International and chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Eigen brings unparalleled perspectives and expertise on governance issues to the panel.

“We are coming together to bring our collective experience to bear and to support the Group of Eight and Africa in their common, long-term efforts to end poverty and corruption on a continent blessed with so many resources,” Eigen stated.

The panel will make its first public statement today focussing, among other things, on good governance, trade, health and education, in relation to Africa. The panel will also meet with leaders Tony Blair and Angela Merkel in the evening to discuss its future work.

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