African campaigners are seeking permanent representation at the G-8 and G-20.
“We’d like to see the African Union chairman make a clear demand that they should have permanent representation at the G20,” said Soren Ambrose, an aid expert and Kenya-based representative of ActionAid.
Without a permanent G-8 status, African officials are not so engaged in the diplomatic groundwork, which goes on between summits, Ambrose added.
Of the 53 African countries, only South Africa has a seat at the G-20. Other African leaders are handpicked to attend annual G-8 summits based on the preferences of the host nation, Agence France-Presse reports.
Presidents Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi, Jacob Zuma of South Africa, and Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, as well as Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia took part in the G-8 gathering in Toronto, Canada, slated June 25-26.
Jonathan has called on G-8 member nations to consider 100 percent debt relief for African nations. The Nigerian president also urged developed countries to set up joint funds for the Millennium Development Goals on child and maternal health, and meet aid pledges to fast-track the attainment of MDGs, especially in Africa’s health sector. Jonathan “noted that less than half of the funds promised by development partners by the end of this year have been delivered,” This Day reports.