News / Africa

    G8 to Tackle Trade, Taxes, Transparency

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.
    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Joe DeCapua
    Britain is hosting this year’s G8 summit, which gets underway next week (6/17-18) in Northern Ireland. Prime Minister David Cameron has listed the major issues he wants leaders to tackle when they gather at the Lough Erne resort.

    G8 Research Center Director John Kirton said leaders have known for months the top issues on the summit agenda.

    “David Cameron said back in November last year that he wanted his summit to focus on trade, tax and transparency. And since then, rising up on the agenda has been another T – terrorism -- and then of course the escalating war in Syria.”

    Even before it starts, Kirton says the summit is shaping up to be one of “significant success.”

    “A lot of their achievements actually come in advance – down payments – as countries try and accommodate to their partners on the long pre-announced British themes,” he said.

    For example, this month’s London summit on malnutrition saw governments and business pledge an additional four billion dollars over the next seven years. That doubles current spending on malnutrition.

    “So this summit has already done much good for the poorest countries and the poorest people. There’s still a lot more to be done because of course we’re all committed to reaching the eight Millennium Development Goals in 2015. That’s coming fast and a lot of them have not yet been met,” he said.

    Progress, said Kirton, is also being made on trade. After four years, negotiations are in their final stage between the European Union and Canada on a Free Trade Agreement.

    “So that would get the summit off to a good start. It would also give everyone in Washington the confidence that if they announce, here at Lough Erne, the start of formal negotiations for the much bigger free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States that Europe could actually deliver a big deal on a much shorter time frame, that the Americans need, than the four long years it took with Europe to get the Canadian deal done,” he said.

    On the issue of taxes, the summit will address tax evasion and avoidance. The British government says the aim is to “strengthen international standards to allow countries to collect tax that is due them.” That would be done through greater sharing of information.

    The third major issue of transparency concerns ownership of land and companies and business deals done with developing countries.

    Kirton said, “On transparency, the key task here is to get poor governments, especially in Africa, to actually receive the money that they deserve from their vast oil and gas and mineral wealth and not have it syphoned away through bribes, through corruption. So if people would just publish what they pay – join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative – that would go a long way to keeping African money in Africa working for them.”

    In recent years, some observers criticized the G8 as being obsolete, saying that the G20 was more relevant. However, Kirton said the G8 reasserted its role during the global economic crisis. Both groups, he said, are needed.

    “What we see here is that David Cameron has designed this summit to do trade, tax, transparency – key economic subjects -- as well as development and security. So I think what we see now is the two Gs – G8/G20 – actually working together giving the world two summits a year at a time when you really can’t just wait for, or rely on, one.”

    The G8 Research Center is based at the University of Toronto.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora