An international meeting set to begin in Ethiopia on Thursday will focus on how to reverse African poverty and gain greater support from developed nations, including more debt relief.

The British-sponsored Commission for Africa is intended, in part, to map out an African policy agenda for Britain to press when it heads the G8 and European Union in 2005.

The commission aims to propose action from the West on boosting aid, making trade rules more fair for African exporters, and obtaining more debt relief.

Industrialized nations at meetings of the G7 nations on Friday and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Saturday and Sunday failed to agree on a strategy for reducing the heavy burden of debt faced by some of the world's poorest nations.