Leaders of the Group of Eight major industrialized nations gathered in Germany’s Baltic resort of Heiligendamm for three days of talks on a number of topics, including climate change, economic issues and debt relief for Africa. VOA English to Africa Service reporter Kim Lewis covered the summit and spoke live from the International Media Center with VOA Africa News Tonight host Chinedu Offor. On Tuesday Lewis said the summit would focus heavily on Africa. She said Germany saw the meeting as an opportunity for the continent. Lewis described the mood as calm and peaceful. She said there were protests over the weekend, but a high police presence had kept disturbances to a minimum.
ZAMBIAN CHARITY WANTS G8 ACCOUNTABLE
Lewis interviewed Charity Musamba of Zambia, who’s with the NGO Catholic Agency for Overseas Development. Musamba said they were there to remind summit leaders about the promises they made for Africa at the 2005 summit in Scotland, and that “the failure to meet these promises is actually costing lots of lives in places such as Africa.” But she said some of the promises have been partially delivered, such as debt relief in Zambia, which she said has hugely benefited from it. Musamba said Zambia now has free education and anti-retroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS patients. She said small-scale farming has benefited from greater access to markets and that prices are not exploitative. But she said other promises have not been kept and that aid last year was static. She said the Catholic charity is calling for benefits to reach other countries such as Kenya and Liberia
Musamba said she’d like to see less discussion and more action taken quickly.
Note: This interview was broadcast on June 6th, 2007.