Examination of Witnesses (Questions 20-39)|
Mr Tim Cole, Mr Tim Williams, Ms Melinda Simmons
and Mr Andrew Key
29 APRIL 2004
Q20 Lord Lea of Crondall: On the
1 per cent of world FDI, which is a very striking figureand
Africa has got 10 per cent of the world's population at roughly
800 million out of 8 billioncountries with that sort of
size or a bit bigger, China and India, have a vastly bigger percentage
of (a) domestically generated investment, whether public or private
investments, and (b) international inward investment and therefore
they are on track for 7, 8, 9 10 per cent growth rates to meet
the millennium development goal by 2015. Africa is not on track;
it is going backwards. The question arises: are we on the right
agenda? It is very striking that Charles Snyder, the US Under-Secretary
of State, a couple of days ago in London presented a view of the
world and the thrust of an agenda which is essentially that unless
private capital can find a home for investment, forget everything
else. For Africa, would you comment on the proposition that there
is a huge bilateral/multilateral effort coming from America which
may or may not coincide with the agenda we are talking about but
it is very much looking at the obstacles to private investment
and everything else is begging the big question as to how the
growth rates in Africa will actually be augmented? Could you comment
Mr Williams: Yes, certainly I can give some
comments, although I am not an economist. The key issue, which
the Americans and we all agree on, is that it is the investment
climate itself which determines the amount of foreign direct investment
which is received. If the climate presents opportunities, if the
governance structures, ie property rights in this particular case,
are fairly stable, then you will receive foreign direct investment.
Where those governance and macroeconomic fundamentals are not
solid and/or opportunities for turning a profit are not there,
then obviously investment is low relative to elsewhere. That essentially
explains the discrepancy between Africa and many other parts of
the world. With regard to what we are doing, as in British Government,
DFID in this case, and also the Foreign Office, through investment
promotion, we do have programmes very similar to the USAID projects
which work on removing barriers to trade, to investment, to growth.
In our country offices I would think all country offices in Africa
do have programmes where we are working with governments to reduce
red tape, increase the capacities of commercial courts, ensure
investment promotion on their part, look at standards and procedures,
et cetera, if they need to pass through hoops with regard
to export possibilities. We are ourselves doing work on this area
in line and commonly with the Americans. Also, I note that the
EU, and I know certainly some country offices, also support activities
which promote and enhance investment in countries, either directly
or indirectly. So there is work going on. It is certainly not
just the Americans. You are very right in noting that it is a
very major thrust of American aid. One comment, though, on that
American aid: we often work with governments to help them, for
example set up and establish or make better commercial courts.
Getting redress on contracts is a critical issue for inward investment.
Because of the way the Americans fund, which is normally not with
governments, the Americans do not do that kind of thing; they
do other types of activities. I think there are complementary
roles being played here between agencies.
Q21 Lord Maclennan of Rogart: Does
your study on barriers to trade seek to make any assessment statistically
of the extent to which democratic shortcomings constitute a barrier
to trade? A priori, the presence or absence of a commercial
court may be very important but if there is a totally corrupt
judicial system which is lacking in any skills, that is a political
phenomenon usually; it is not a technical question. The host government
or the receiving government may not be sensitive to suggestions
about commercial courts in such circumstances. How much profile
do you give to these questions?
Mr Williams: Your question is extremely interesting.
I think it revolves around a critical issue which is: to what
extent are formalised and functioning institutions of state a
necessary precondition for growthin other words investment?
This area of study is very hot in universities around the world
at the moment with different large empirical studies trying to
prove one way or another if formal institutions are a fundamental
precondition or can growth happen regardless of the formal institutional
structures. We had a conference in DFID last November where we
brought a number of academics together to argue the different
sides of this particular issue. In short, the answer is that I
think there is a broad agreement that key institutions, for instance
property rights, are fundamental to growth but that, whereas we
might think of that as being a formalised system, shall we, say,
in this case a court for commercial redress, in fact informal
forms of these same institutions can exist. I give an example
here that the academics are very fond of, and that is that in
China the actual legal underpinnings for investmentcompany
ownership, relations between companies and the stateare
completelyif you read the papersnon-conducive to
making investments in China. However, it is well understood that
informally you can have agreements at national or at sub-national
level which essentially give you enough confidence to make your
investments, and people do go in and make those investments, and
China has grown. So it has a set of informal property rights which
have underpinned a very strong trajectory of growth whereas in
a hypothetical country in Africa it may have a very sound set
of laws on paper which of course are not being followed in practice.
The essence of what the academics are trying to say is that there
are fundamental issues that you need to look at, not the formal
structures necessarily. It is important but to try to understand
the dynamics of the governance structure underneath because that
is more important than any signed formal law. As you say, a commercial
court may or may not make a difference. However, we are faced
with a dilemma in terms of development systems. One level is obviously
a political level and the other level is a technical level and
obviously we try to ensure that our development assistance is
targeted to technical solutions which in some senses chime with
the underlying flow of political reform and development. I can
quote an example of setting up a commercial court in Uganda which
I think has been a relatively successful operation because this
has very much chimed with an underlying push by the President
and a number of others to enhance economic growth whereas of course
such a thing perhaps might not work in another country where the
underlying dynamics were not suitable.
Q22 Lord Maclennan of Rogart: It
does seem to me that this is not a particularly fruitful test.
Many countries would offer to settle, and indeed would be required,
particularly by American investors, to agree to settle their disputes
by reference to a third country's legal system, a third country's
system of arbitration or something of that sort outside of the
territory but what really is critical is whether when push comes
to shove the political situation would allow any kind of settlement
to take place or the participation of the government or the companies
which are controlled by the government and so I just wonder how
you build that in. What assumptions are being made in the European
Union and in this country? Do you rate countries for that kind
of investment using criteria about governance? Something of that
sort would obviously act as an incentive to countries that were
low on the rating assessments to do something about itor
Mr Williams: Or might. We would hope I think
is the answer. Of course what you are talking about here are decisions
being made by private investors to move into African countries.
Q23 Lord Maclennan of Rogart: Well
that affects the one per cent.
Mr Williams: One per cent of world FDI. The
fact is that over the last few years Africa has received very,
very little foreign direct investment. In terms of assessing risks
there are a number of commercial risk measurement firms and indices
which companies do look to, people read the Economic Intelligence
Unit country reports et cetera when they are making their
Q24 Lord Maclennan of Rogart: But
does that affect government/public investment as well as private
Mr Williams: Yes it does, to quite a large extent.
In terms of our aid allocations what we look for in countries
in the first case nowadays is a commitment obviously to poverty
reduction, and secondly a suitable set of institutions and a commitment
to improving those institutions, so there is a governance aspect
to our aid allocations. What we and the international community
have now more and more moved towards, including the European Union,
is putting as a centrepiece of our dialogue with countries their
poverty reduction strategies and the country's adherence to those
plans and their efforts to achieve the objectives or the outcomes
set up in those plans is a central factor to our involvement and
the EU's involvement in Africa, programmatically and project-wise,
at the moment. Obviously one of the critical issues within the
poverty reduction strategy papers and plans is a commitment to
improve various fundamental systems of governance such as their
public financial management and accountability systems and often
their justice systems. These are very important preconditions
but it is not to say that we have absolute standards, let me be
very clear on that. It is not that we have a way of assessing
a bar and above the bar is okay and below the bar is not. There
is a particular example that I could give of that which seeks
to show that. We moved in to support Rwanda very early after the
genocide taking enormous "risks" on the government coming
in. We came up with support for them ahead of others. If we had
had a bar on when we could enter we could never have entered Rwanda.
In fact that investment has been, I would say, extremely beneficial
to Rwandees as it has helped them get on a roll for the development.
Chairman: We have spent quite a lot of
time on critical, important issues about governance and the rule
of law but perhaps it is an appropriate time to ask Baroness Park
to introduce the specific question of Zimbabwe because we talked
in generality and I think we would like to address that specific
Q25 Baroness Park of Monmouth: As
you know, what we are asking you is whether the EU intends to
place further pressure on the AU to take an active stand over
Zimbabwe and whether you consider that lack of response undermines
its democratic credibility. I think that my colleague Lord Maclennan
seemed to suggest that if we talk to Africans about human rights
it is rather condescending and improper and so I would like to
remind everybody that Desmond Tutu and Archbishop Ndungane recently
said that there are no such things as African human rights; there
are human rights, and that the EU and the AU should be doing something
about that. That is two eminent Africans who took that position.
I realise you will probably say that whatever I say it has to
be done as part of diplomacy and it will not have any effect otherwise,
but one cannot but notice that first of all it has proved impossible
to raise the question of Zimbabwe at the UNHCR or the UN and we
are always told by ministers that that is because the African
Union as a bloc has prevented further discussion. One last point,
I notice that you have recently given four million euros to Chad
for the relief of the terrible suffering of the people coming
over from Darfor as a result of Sudanese action. I would be interested
to know whether when we did that the EU said to the AU, "What
are you doing to bring pressure on Sudan to stop this?" I
just would like to know what is said already and what perhaps
should be said. The last question of all is: are the French a
problem in all this?
Mr Cole: The answer to the last question is
easy. We are the EU and we have an EU policy and clearly both
the French and the United Kingdom are part of the EU.
Q26 Baroness Park of Monmouth: That
is not what I meant.
Mr Cole: None of us is Zimbabwe experts and
our ministers have set out on several occasions in the House what
our position on Zimbabwe is.
Q27 Baroness Park of Monmouth: That
is not what I am interested in, I am interested in what the EU
are doing and us as a member of the EU.
Mr Cole: At the EU-Africa Ministerial Troika
on 1 April Zimbabwe was discussed and I can tell you what was
said. "The European side expressed its concern at the continuing
deterioration of human rights in Zimbabwe. It stressed that restrictive
measures do not target the general population. The African side
underscored the importance of the resolution of the land issue
in Zimbabwe in addressing the historic injustice that resulted
in skewed land ownership. Ministers acknowledged the need to encourage
meaningful internal dialogue in Zimbabwe as the way forward."
That is not first time Zimbabwe has been on the agenda for discussion.
Q28 Baroness Park of Monmouth: But
why do we accept the AU preventing discussion of it in international
fora such as the UN and, incidentally, I notice that on the issue
of The Sudan in an article in The Observer on Sunday it
says that the role of the European Union, including the delegation
from the United Kingdom, was very disappointing and they needed
to adopt condemnation of the atrocities in Darfor. The writer
says that they voted for the watered down resolution which did
not condemn the crimes against humanity going on in Darfor. They
also voted to adjourn before a vote was taken on a much tougher
resolution and Honduras, a very small country, did more for human
rights in The Sudan than the entire EU when it voted not to adjourn
before the issue was given the attention it deserved. I accept
that we cannot argue with their assessment of what happens inside
Zimbabwe but is the EU expecting a quid pro quo for all
the help that they are getting in asking them to refrain from
preventing public discussion in international fora of the problems
Mr Cole: We might need to write to you on the
question of the AU blocking discussion in the UNHCR for example.
It is a regular part of the discussion we have in the EU-Africa
dialogue and it is the reason why the EU-Africa summit has not
taken place since Cairo. There has not been a meeting at the heads
of state level because the participation of all heads of state
could not be guaranteed. Clearly the targeted measures on Zimbabwe
would mean that President Mugabe could not have come to the summit
in Lisbon where it was planned to take place and had he been there
clearly some European leaders would not have been able to attend
so the discussion at summit level, the EU-Africa dialogue, has
not taken place because of the situation in Zimbabwe and our targeted
measures on that country. Perhaps we should write to you on the
Chairman: I am sure that would be very
helpful. I do not want to curtail the discussion but I am conscious
that we may be interrupted shortly.
Lord Lea of Crondall: May I ask a brief
supplementary to that, Chairman?
Chairman: Yes, forgive me, if we could
be brief because I would like to get on to Baroness Northover's
Q29 Lord Lea of Crondall: Relations
with France have been mentioned in this context and just as there
are two very big elephants in the EU on Africa because of our
huge ex-colonial responsibilities, Britain and France, likewise,
I suppose there are very big elephants in AfricaSouth Africa,
Nigeria and so on. In what sense is the EU in encouraging, promoting
or being conducive just by the fact that this dialogue with the
EU is going on forcing us to have closer relations with France.
We are trying to get closer relations with France. Could you comment
Mr Cole: I think the relationship with France
is extremely close on Africa, we work very closely with them.
At every United Kingdom/France summit we have had we always have
a declaration on Africa and we are working more and more closely
with them in support of the AU for example and in support of ECOWAS
and other sub-regional organisations. Most of the area of the
work we do is actually on peace and security aspects in Africa
because certainly in West Africa that is where the French have
a very strong interest. Also recently there was a discussion with
the head of DGCID, which is the French equivalent of DFID. He
came to London for a day's discussions and we covered a whole
range of issues. That is certainly a very strong aspect of our
Chairman: I am afraid that we will have
to adjourn now, there is a Division in the House.
The Committee suspended from 11.57am to
12.07 pm for a division in the House.
Chairman: My Lords, may we continue then
with the questions and perhaps I could turn to Baroness Northover.
Baroness Northover: Mine is the question
as to how the Commission for Africa fits in with this and whether
you expect AU opinions to have an influence on the eventual report.
However, if I could also ask more generally, you have made it
very clear obviously that the AU is in its infancy at the moment
but one area that they are particularly concerned should be on
the agenda is that of development and so I wondered if you could
say something about what role you think the AU will play in this
and, in particular, do you see any evidence that they will be
impressing on countries within Africa to take forward the numerous
things that need to be done to tackle the HIV/AIDS pandemic?
Q30 Chairman: Before you answer,
if Baroness Northover will forgive me, perhaps in answering that
question, because I think it sort of goes together, there was
a question earlier which was not actually put about the future
of NEPAD and the ACP country groupings so while we are talking
about where does the Commission fit in, how do you see the future
for those organisations, as well as Baroness Northover's question?
Ms Simmons: If I could start on the Commission
for Africa and hand over to the other Tim on the other issue.
The Commission for Africa is also in its infancy and its first
meeting of the commissioners is next week. The principle is that
there is going to be a very wide consultation, including within
the European Union and the African Union, but because of the time
involveda report has got to be finalised by next springit
is likely that their consultations will happen back-to-back with
existing meetings so where the African Union is concerned they
are planning on a consultation after the African Union Summit
which will happen in July. You might be aware that President Konaré
was invited to join the Commission for Africa but was not able
tohe is a busy manbut he did ask if he could be
involved in setting up the consultations both within the African
Union and in relation to NEPAD, so they are going to be closely
involved in the debates that will go on within Africa. As to whether
their opinions will have an influence on the report it is very
early to say and there will be a lot of people consulted but their
views are going to be taken on and discussed in the same way as
we will be talking to bilateral donors, to the private sector,
to civil society, to African and non-African stakeholders, so
it is a very wide range of people but certainly the African Union
has been prioritised. Tim, do you want to talk about the future
Mr Williams: I think the question you asked
was about NEPAD's future and the development agenda of the Africa
Union. As noted, the Africa Union adopted NEPAD as its development
agenda in July 2003. Under NEPAD there are a number of themes,
including HIV/AIDS, trade, regional integration, infrastructure.
Now NEPAD and the Africa Union are not setting themselves up to
do those things; this has to be very clear. They are setting themselves
up to make sure that the agenda is set with their relations with
other countries on these particular issues. They are distilling,
if you want, best practice and producing papers on these issues.
They will have conferences or facilitate under the umbrella of
NEPAD/AU conferences on some of those issues, so they promote,
they profile, but they do not do themselves. They are creating
an environment in which national governments see that the pan-African
priorities are these and then it is for the particular governments
themselves obviously to undertake programmes and projects within
that particular area. The one kind of exception on that, of course,
is the issue around regional integration and the issue, for instance,
of cross-border infrastructure where there may be, it is unclear,
more work between NEPAD and the regional economic communities,
the so-called RECs. These are the different groupingsECOWAS,
SADAC, COMESSA, East African Communitywhich many see as
the building blocks of the development agenda of the Africa Union.
They will be working with those, so in short answer to your question,
yes, the AU will be doing something but it is about setting agendas
and profiling and promoting; it will not be about activities.
Q31 Baroness Northover: And do you
see that underway at the moment? Does it look hopeful as far as
you are concerned?
Mr Williams: Very much so. NEPAD as a theme
has started to bite, shall we say. There is a regional office
for NEPAD for example just opened in Kenya. The Kenyan government
want to promote NEPAD and themes within NEPAD and have started
moving things along. I think it is also true to say NEPAD is essentially
in many senses a political initiative; it is to help drive forward
a progressive development agenda in African countries and, as
such, it still runs at a political level. It is unfortunate that
some people would like to see tangible things come from NEPAD.
"What has NEPAD given to me?" The truth is NEPAD itself
is going to give a political momentum to these key development
issues. It is not going to provide school books, shall we say;
it is not going to do that.
Q32 Lord Lea of Crondall: A supplementary
to this, and perhaps Mr Key can bring in his point as he is indicating
as well. One view of the new thrust of this ambitious constitution
for the Africa Union is to put NEPAD back in its box. We had an
interesting session in the African Group with Mr Ameoko who is
Executive Director of the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis
Ababa. I think it is fair to sayhis view was this (it is
my recollection but it is something along these lines:) "Well,
of course just relying on all the African Union ambassadors in
Addis Ababa will get you nowhere. We have got to have a Praetorian
Guard. We have got to have some set-up with more thrust, personal
diplomacy with the President of Nigeria, or what have you."
So it is a slightly odd anomaly with NEPAD having some sort of
personality as well as the Africa Union. I suppose we have got
to see how it goes but how do you see the relationship between
Johannesburg, which is the power house of Africa in the sense
that it is where NEPAD is, it is where money is and so on, and
the extremely poor country of Ethiopia which happens to be where
the African Union is. It is very, very interesting because in
one sense that is where the realities of the polarity of Africa
are, but how do we understand this relationship between the African
Union and NEPAD? I hope we do not conclude that we think that
the African Union's ambitions are motivated in order to put NEPAD
back in its box because if that were the case we will not be able
to have north-south regional accountability because nobody would
be able to deliver anything to anybody. Could you comment on that?
Mr Williams: Yes, I can certainly. The Africa
Union I think in July in Maputo last year agreed to integrate
NEPAD's management mechanism into the African Union within three
years, so I think by 2006. When I was in Addis Ababa last I spoke
to Mr Mazimhaka, the Deputy Commissioner of the AU on this particular
issue and his comment was, "Yes, we are going to integrate
it but it depends how you define integration." There are
two ways that it may be integrated. One is you could mainstream
it, so close down the offices in South Africa and bring the whole
operation under a particular arm of the AU as it functions under
the Commission in Addis Ababa, or, alternatively, it could be
allowed to function as a separate "agency" of the Africa
Union which would mean, I think, changing some aspects of management
and maybe some aspects of legislation to say that it is a part
of the AU under control policy wise but physically existing separately.
Now I believe that this debate again is one of these issues which
will be resolved after the July 2004 AU summit. Certainly that
was what was hinted at by Mr Mazimhaka.
Mr Key: I just wondered whether you wanted an
answer to the question related to MEDA and ACP country groupings.
If that would be useful I could say a few words on that. The answer
generally is yes, those two country groupings will continue to
exist and are complementary to the relationship with the Africa
Union as a whole. The EU has dialogues and relationships with
Africa, it has them with regions of Africa, and some elements
of the ACP relationship are taken forward with regional groupings,
such as the trade aspect, and with individual countries, such
as aid programmes to individual countries and in the case of South
Africa there is also a relationship. Indeed, within EUROMED we
have association agreements with each of the individual countries,
these Agreements include mechanisms for dialogue through association
councils. I think they will continue to exist partly because the
nature of the relationship is slightly different. The northern
African countries that are part of the Euromed partnership are
neighbours to the EU and the EU sees the southern Mediterranean
as part of its neighbourhood. And of course, the Euromed partnership
also includes countries that are not in AfricaIsrael, Jordan,
the Palestinian Authority, Turkey. And likewise there is a special
history to the relationship with the ACP countries, and that in
its own way is underpinned by a special sense of partnership and
again has a membership that goes more wide than Africathe
Caribbean and Pacificbeing particularly more important
to the United Kingdom but also to France and others. In the discussions
in the EU I see very little, if any, appetite to change the basis
of those groupings in themselves. There are some proposals in
relation to the mechanisms for the funding of support to the countries
that might change the technical arrangements for getting money
from A to B, but those are at a very initial stage of discussion
and they have not been fleshed out, they have not been discussed
at any council, we do not know how they will come out. Irrespective
of that, I would expect to see these two partnerships carrying
on essentially in parallel with developing a relationship with
the Africa Union.
Q33 Baroness Park of Monmouth: Could
I ask a supplementary, my Lord Chairman. Bob Geldof is an important
part of the Commission for Africa and I note that he has been
complaining that the EDF has a lot of money that ought to have
been given to AIDS and has not been. That was replied to by Mr
Neilson and he said they are working with the ACP to find the
funds, but the AU policy on AIDS as it was enunciated by President
Gaddafi and I think echoed by quite a number of other countries,
seemed to be that they did not recognise that AIDS really existed.
What is going to be the situation if the Commission decides that
AIDS is an important issuewhich it isis the AU going
to reject working with that or not?
Mr Williams: Could I comment on the issues to
do with the AIDS policy of the Africa Union. I think, with all
respect to Mr Gaddafi, the NEPAD documents are very clear about
how the Africa Union understand the pandemic and its impact and
effects on Africa, and it is in line with our understanding of
the tragedy. It promotes different ways to tackle and different
interventions to work with the AIDS pandemic and, again, they
are very much in line with how we are approaching it.
Mr Key: Can I add to that in terms of the funding
through the EDF, if the Commission believes it is worth working
with countries in Africa on AIDS, and those countries want to,
the partnership will allow them to do that and it will not be
affected by any policy or misrepresented statement of policy made
by somebody in the Africa Union.
Ms Simmons: Two immediate points, one is that
is why it is so important the Commission for Africa when they
do their consultations do conduct them within the African Union
and the Member States and the related frameworks that serve them.
The other point perhaps worth raising is in connection with Baroness
Northover's earlier question on HIV is the Africa Partnership
Forum, the expanded G8 dialogue, which has four co-chairs. One
is the chair of the Africa Union, one is the NEPAD Secretariat
and the others are an OECD country, which this year is Belgium,
and the G8, which this year is the US. At the Maputo forum which
took place two weeks ago there was a session on HIV which was
agreed to be one of the four priority issues for the Africa Partners
Forum, which was chaired by Simâo of Mozambique in his capacity
as representative of the African Union, and the NEPAD principles
were all accepted in that discussion, so Tim's point about there
being significant space between one view and the African Union's
endorsement of NEPAD I think was echoed there.
Chairman: Lastly perhaps, if there are no other
questions on that, can I just pose a question Lord Powell was
going to ask but he has had to go?
Lord Inge: He has asked me to ask it.
Chairman: Please do.
Lord Inge: No, because I would rather
ask another question!
Q34 Chairman: The Chairman is at
the behest of the Committee! What measures are in place to ensure
the adequate financial scrutiny of the 250 million euros that
you have already mentioned allocated for the EDF to support peace-keeping
and capacity-building operations? I think there is a concern as
to what arrangements are there.
Mr Key: If I may answer that one. Those issues
have been discussed in the EU and the EU set out ways in which
the money will be monitored. From the start I should say that
the funds were established on the basis of partnership so it will
be a process of joint monitoring. It falls into four stages. The
first is that all projects being funded will be approved by European
Union consultation both in the Council and in the EDF Management
Committee, so there is an element of both Commission and Council
involvement which will result in the signing of a contribution
agreement setting out the terms of the funding. There will then
be a joint steering committee between the Africa Union and the
European Union and in this case chaired by the AU and the Commission.
That will meet twice yearly and will look at any issues which
are brought to its attention in terms of problems with any of
the funding. The third element is monitoring by the Commission.
The Commission requires the recipient of the funds, whether that
is the Africa Union or a regional organisation, to provide regular,
proper financial reports setting out how the funds are being used,
ensuring appropriate use of the funding. Fourthly, there will
be a process of review and evaluation both of the individual projects
and in the case of capacity building projects that will be a combination
of mid-term reviews and final reviews, in the case of operations
it is the final review, but also of the operation of the fund
as a whole. When the Union decided to establish the fund it was
agreed that there would be a review after one year of the establishment
which will look at how well it is working.
Q35 Chairman: Is the decision of
the council by QMV or unanimity?
Mr Key: The EDF Management Committee is QMV
but the Peace and Security Committee and the Council working groups
looking at this would be operating by unanimity where they are
talking about elements to do with common foreign and security
Chairman: I think it is a very interesting
point. I would just say to members of the Committee there was
an answer given in these papers to the point that we raised about
Articles 96 and 97 on Kosovo which is far from clear to me. Anyway,
I will not pursue it now. Lord Inge?
Lord Inge: Do you mind if I ask this
question, my Lord Chairman?
Chairman: Please do.
Lord Inge: I suppose I could from the
position that Europe has a real responsibility to try and help
Africa which itself has enormous problems. If Clausewitz were
sitting here he would be saying to himself but what should be
the priorities for action by the Europeans to help Africa, and
I would like to know what you think.
Chairman: Do you want to reply in writing?
Q36 Lord Inge: I want to know what
the priorities should be. Do not get in the weeds, give me the
clear priorities you think we should be concentrating on.
Mr Cole: In support of Africa?
Q37 Lord Inge: The European Union
to help Africa.
Mr Williams: Can I just divide the issue?
Q38 Lord Inge: Do what you want!
Mr Williams: Thank you. I think there are what
I would call diplomatic initiatives at one level and then there
are the developmental policy and programmatic initiatives at another
level. If I can maybe comment on programmatic and developmental
issues. I think the new paradigm of supporting poverty reduction
strategies in countries, in other words countries that are showing
ownership and clarity about moving forwards, has to be a paradigm
that I hope we will stick with for a long while because all research
has always shown that if you are going to get positive change
in institutions or in countries it must be driven from within
and it cannot be very easily imposed from outside. So I would
hope that the EU will stick with its current policy framework
which is that in countries in which it is operating it is highly
supportive of these new frameworks, which are sectoral programmes
in health, education, water, law and justice and wider broader
programmes of macroeconomic good governance and governance as
well. I would hope this will be the main priority. Then of course
there is the issue that more funding is needed.
Q39 Lord Inge: I just want the priorities.
Mr Williams: The priorities I would say are
to support where possible African-led development initiatives.
Where you have countries where there are security concerns, again
I think the EU's initiative must be to empower, if we can, the
Africa peace initiatives through the Peace and Security Council
and the Africa Standby Force. These must be the priorities; to
get Africans running Africa, to get Africans regulating Africa.