Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

The onus is on Africa's Leaders

The Guardian - July 5th 2007

Sir

Salim Lome's trenchant analysis of Africa's woes (Comment, July 4) contains an important truism, namely that only Africa's leaders and people can solve the continent's problems. Foreign aid has perpetuated a dependency culture.

This has not been helped by the EU's common agricultural policy of export subsidies, which has dumped excess European food on world markets and put African farmers out of business. It's therefore no surprise that poverty in Africa, once upon a time a net food exporter, is becoming more entrenched.

Traditional western donor policies are partly to blame, but by linking in future promises of aid to improved standards of good governance, human rights and democracy and better access through freer trade to our markets, the onus is now on Africa's leaders. Until they start meeting those responsibilities the situation in Africa will keep on deteriorating.

Dr Charles Tannock MEP
Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman
European Parliament