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G8 summit opens with focus on Africa on Day 1

 

·Fukuda greeted other G8 leaders and the African leaders at the start of a working lunch.
·The lunch will be followed by a session between the G8 leaders and seven African nations.
·The summit would focus on climate change, the world economy and African development.

 
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda (R) shakes hands with U.S. President George W. Bush in a greeting ceremony hosted by Fukuda in the first official day of the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, at Lake Toyoko, Hokkaido Prefecture, northern Japan,July 7, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda (R) shakes hands with U.S. President George W. Bush in a greeting ceremony hosted by Fukuda in the first official day of the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, at Lake Toyoko, Hokkaido Prefecture, northern Japan,July 7, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

 

TOYAKO, Japan, July 7 (Xinhua) -- The three-day summit of the Group of Eight (G8) kicked off on Monday with the first session bringing together leaders of the industrialized nations and their counterparts from seven African countries.

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who is playing host for the G8 annual gathering, greeted other G8 leaders and the African leaders at the start of a working lunch at the hilltop Windsor Hotel in Toyako, a resort town on the northern island of Hokkaido.

The lunch was followed by a working session between the G8 and African leaders, as well as leaders from the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Union.

Climate change, the world economy and African development figure high on the agenda of the Toyako summit of the G8, which groups Britain, Canada, Italy, Japan, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

The G8 leaders were talking with the presidents of Algeria, South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Tanzania and Ethiopia on aid to Africa and other issues in the afternoon.

Some non-governmental organizations have urged developed countries, the G8 nations in particular, to make good on their promises and become more committed to helping the continent reduce poverty and develop the economy.

Speaking to the press in Toyako, Max Lawson, policy adviser of the British charity Oxfam, said the G8 will miss its pledge of doubling aid to Africa at the Gleneagles summit as it has delivered only a small part of the promised aid more than halfway through the plan.

The G8 promised at the Gleneagles summit in 2005 to increase aid to developing countries by 50 billion U.S. dollars by 2010, of which 25 billion U.S. dollars will go to Africa.

The G8 has delivered only 14 percent of its promised aid to Africa three years into the five-year promise, Lawson said.

"We are worried. We are very worried that the aid promises would be watered down and that some of the key promises left out," Lawson said.

Source: Xinhua


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