Africa News blog
African business, politics and lifestyle
Earlier this month, players in a Sierra Leonean football team were hailed as heroes when they returned from Sweden – because they all came home.
In the past, they might have been more likely to scarper and seek asylum while they had the chance.
It was a quirky tale, but one that leads to a serious question: are people starting to see more opportunities in Africa?
It’s a subject Reuters correspondents have been exploring from around the continent: Nick Tattersall wrote about ambitious Nigerians heading home, Hussein Ali Nur and Guled Mohamed told the story of the university founded by returnees to Somaliland. In London, Luke Baker met Zimbabweans keen to return if there is an end to the economic catastrophe that now marks it out as an exception in the region rather than the norm.
This week’s G8 summit in Japan marks 6 years since the group of the world’s top industrial nations adopted a comprehensive action plan to support initiatives to spur the development of Africa. The G8 Africa Action Plan adopted at a summit in Kananaskis, Canada, in 2002 was seen as the biggest boost to Africa’s own home-grown development initiative, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD. The G8 Plan pledges to help Africa tackle the main obstacles to its development — from promoting peace and security, to boosting trade and implementing debt relief to expanding education, health facilities and fighting HIV/AIDS.
As a followup to the Action Plan, the G8 at its 2005 summit in Scotland agreed to double aid by 2010 to $50 billion, half of which would go to Africa. But as G8 leaders prepared for this year’s summit in Japan, the Africa Progress Panel set up to monitor implementation of the 2005 commitments issued a gloomy report last month. It said under current spending the G8 would fall $40 billion short of its target. Other aid agency officials accused the G8 of backtracking on its pledges to Africa.