Africa wants it own army from G8

By Martin Plaut
BBC News

African leaders will put forward a proposal for the region to get its
own standing army to G8 leaders next week, Africa's development body
has said.

It should be ready to go to trouble spots at a moment's notice, Nepad
head Wiseman Nkuhlu said.

He also said that a new $20bn fund is needed to speed up the
distribution of cash for development projects.

These two initiatives will be in addition to aid, debt and trade
already on the agenda at the G8 summit.

Nepad favours Africa drawing up its own priorities for growth and renewal.


Speaking in London ahead of the G8 summit, Mr Nkuhlu said the
standing army should be drawn from Africa's own soldiers.

Billions and billions of dollars that are supposed to be flowing to
Africa are not flowing Wiseman Nkuhlu These would have equipment necessary
to do the job, and would be served by an intelligence committee to spot potential
conflicts before they erupt.

The troops would probably not be located all in one place, but would
be ready to fly at a moment's notice.

The new financial fund would be located within an existing
organisation, like the World Bank, but would be entirely separate
from it - and administered by African finance ministers and their
Western counterparts.

Mr Nkuhlu said this was necessary because of rising African
frustration with the excruciating slow pace at which funds reach
their intended targets.

"The African Development Bank, the World Bank, the European Union,
they sit on billions and billions of dollars that are supposed to be
flowing to Africa. But they're not flowing. And when you ask them, it
has to do with procedures," he told the BBC.

"On the African countries' side, they say that these procedures are
difficult and really cumbersome."

The only way to deal with these complaints was to set up a new fund
with new guidelines, he said.

Both are highly ambitious proposals, and come with very large price tags.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/07/01 17:42:53 GMT