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Kufuor Connections
by Louis Proyect
22 May 2002 16:33 UTC
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President Bush has met with seven African Presidents during his first six
months in office, including Nigerian President Obasanjo and South Africa's
Mbeki -- leaders of Sub-Saharan Africa's regional powerhouses -- as well as
three of Africa's most promising reformers, Presidents KUFUOR of Ghana,
Wade of Senegal, and Konare of Mali.

African leaders with vision are OPENING their economies -- a step that
requires real courage because it often hurts entrenched interests and
causes short-term economic pain -- and sometimes even rioting in the
streets. And it flies in the face of the STATIST ideologies of the
independence generation.

And in Senegal and Ghana, longtime incumbent parties recently lost
elections and the transitions to the new presidents were both seamless and

Put all these pieces together and what we see is that in many places
important barriers are crumbling barriers that historically have prevented
Africans, individually and collectively, from realizing the fruits of their
hard labor and blocked them from sharing an expanding world economy.

The President is determined to foster this process. That is why he made the
United States the first to contribute to the new global fund to fight
HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB being sponsored by Secretary General Annan, the
G-8, and others. The United States already provides nearly 50 percent of
all international HIV/AIDS funding. This new measure will build on that

The President will also ensure that the United States remains a leader on
responsible DEBT RELIEF and reform of the multilateral development banks.

full: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/07/20010713.html


Bono and Mr. O'Neill may have some differing views. But the fact that Bono,
whose real name is Paul David Hewson, has equal billing with the Bush
administration's senior economic policy official on a diplomatic mission is
evidence of the remarkable influence he has on the issue in Washington. 

He has become almost a regular on Capitol Hill, where he worked quietly for
several years to convince conservative Republicans of the benefits of
writing off some of the debts owed by poor nations to wealthy nations. 

He is now lending his support to efforts in Congress to appropriate more
money to combat AIDS around the world. Earlier this year he played a key
role in persuading President Bush to provide an additional $5 billion a
year in aid to poor countries that could show they could get results.

"My job is to bring some applause if a politician is bold enough to make
these new steps," Bono told Ghana's president, JOHN A. KUFUOR, at a meeting
with Mr. O'Neill today.

full: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/22/international/africa/22AFRI.html


Ghana has a new president; John Agyekum Kufuor, a quietly spoken 62 year
old lawyer and liberal democrat with a new openness to the country's debt
crisis. Soon after he was sworn in on January 7, Kufuor's administration
initiated a national debate on Ghana's foreign debt, estimated at nearly
$7billion and threatening to spiral out of control. Between 2001 and 2005,
Ghana is expected to pay on average $417 million each year to its foreign
creditors, mainly the IMF. It is estimated that this would take up
approximately 30% - 40% of export earnings.

Kufuour comes from Asante royalty and belongs to the Danquah - Busia
tradition, which represents the RIGHT and CENTRE RIGHT of Ghanaian
politics. The left tradition is represented by Nkrumah, Ghana's first
president, and to some extent the early government of Jerry Rawlings. At
the same time, Kufuor has strong credentials as a democrat and has served
prison terms for his beliefs. He is also well known for his inclusive style
of politics and even served as a local government minister in Jerry
Rawlings' radical government of the early 1980s.

full: http://www.jubilee2000uk.org/people/debtor.htm


This site hosts the work of Jubilee Research @ NEF - which is a programme
of the highly respected, radical think-tank, the New Economics Foundation,
London (www.neweconomics.org).

Ed Mayo - Executive Director of New Economics Foundation

Ed has worked in the private sector, joining Andersen Consulting in 1987,
and the non-profit sector.

He joined the New Economics Foundation, the radical think-tank, as
Executive Director in 1992. His work currently involves promoting all parts
of the emerging ethical and sustainable economy - with a particular focus
on enterprise and new approaches to finance. He is currently a board member
of UK Social Investment Forum, the Institute for Social and Ethical
AccountAbility, www.oneworld.net and the Local Investment Fund. He has been
Chair of the Jubilee 2000 Coalition, launching a record-breaking petition
with over 24 million signatures from over 60 countries.

summits on issues of corporate accountability and the new economy.


Louis Proyect
Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org

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