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Mandela Urges Industrialized Nations to Give More to Africa


Nelson Mandela
Former South African President Nelson Mandela is urging wealthy industrialized nations to give more aid to Africa. Mr. Mandela delivered a speech Monday.

Addressing diplomats, academics and reporters, Nelson Mandela praised the United States for devoting resources to meet Africa's developmental and humanitarian needs, including the battle against AIDS.

But he said more needs to be done.

"The U.S. and other donor nations should provide substantially greater economic assistance on terms that are more flexible and responsive to the priorities set by Africans themselves," Mr. Mandela says.

The former South African leader said a new relationship is being forged between Africa and donor nations, one in which African leaders must embrace, as he put it, transparency, accountability, and good governance.

Those words echoed President Bush's comments three years ago, when he promised to boost U.S. foreign aid to nations that root out corruption, respect human rights, and adhere to the rule of law. Mr. Bush was unveiling the Millennium Challenge Account, which disburses U.S. aid to impoverished nations that meet certain requirements of governance.

U.S. aid commitments to Africa have increased under the Bush administration, particularly for combating AIDS under the multi-billion dollar Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Nelson Mandela said a primary goal of his visit to the United States is to set up a mechanism so that American citizens and private groups can make financial contributions to a variety of South African charitable foundations bearing Mr. Mandela's name.

His upbeat remarks concerning U.S. policies contrasted sharply with previous comments on the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. In 2003, Mr. Mandela condemned the invasion as a tragedy, saying that President Bush has, as he put it, no foresight and wants to plunge the world into a holocaust.

In his remarks Monday, Mr. Mandela struck a conciliatory tone, saying that frank disagreement on important matters is a sign of friendship.