African nations voiced a need for change in world major institutions like the World Bank, United Nations, & International Monutary Fund.
More than 50 African countries and France called on Tuesday for an urgent reform of the United Nations Security Council and other institutions so the continent can better be represented in global governance.At the close of the 25th Africa-France summit, France announced plans to ensure African nations are better represented at the G-20 when France takes its turn at the helm of the group.
France and the 39 heads of state and government and 12 other national delegations which met for two days in the Riviera city of Nice called for African states to be fully integrated into the global economy.
The summit reviewed issues from peace and security to climate change but added a new dimension by inviting more than 200 business leaders to encourage development through free enterprise. A charter for good business was adopted to encourage transparency among French businesses operating in Africa and, it is hoped, serve as a model for companies from elsewhere.
France agreed to support the African Union in strengthening security on the continent, including the African Standby Force, and pledged ¤300 million ($369.1 million) for 2010 to 2012 and agreed to train 12,000 African troops for peacekeeping by the African Union and U.N.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy stressed that France, once a colonial ruler on the African continent, wants to strengthen its role on all parts of the continent where countries that are traditional outsiders, notably China, are profiting from multibillion dollar projects.
“France doesn’t just want to be friends with francophone countries … What we want is for France to talk to all of Africa,” Mr. Sarkozy said at the closing session. The French president did away with the traditional “dinner among friends” featured at Africa-France summits in which only leaders of former colonies are invited. He held a dinner for all attendees Monday night.
“You are all friends, all of you, and we can build together,” he said.
France has been pressing for a greater voice for Africa in critical international forums, such as the G-20 and the Security Council, where there are five permanent members with veto rights—and where Africa, which makes up some 25% of U.N. members, wants a voice.
South African President Jacob Zuma called the summit “very useful.”
“We believe strongly that times have changed,” he said. Climate change was a major issue at the summit, and the leaders linked it to development.
They agreed to support creation of a renewable energy plan for a sustainable electricity system “based on concrete projects and innovative financing.” Among such projects would be use of solar power.
France announced creation of the African Agriculture Fund, an investors’ fund, for food distribution and other projects, to initially raise $120 million and that could reach $300 million, according to a final statement.
The next summit is to be held in 2013 in Egypt, where the just-ended meeting was initially meant to be held. Because of concern that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, sought by the International Criminal Court for allegedly masterminding atrocities in Darfur, would be invited, France persuaded Cairo to allow the gathering to convene in Nice.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, facing EU sanctions travel restrictions, also wasn’t invited. The nation of Madagascar, the Indian Ocean island where a 2009 coup toppled an elected president, was excluded from the summit.
More background on previous post about the France-Africa summit.