“10 years ago today, the Report of the Commission for Africa laid out a prescient principle: that development should not be about aid alone and had to be about partnership and governance. In a year that also included the Gleneagles summit, it was a less noticed milestone, but it was just as important. African people didn’t need others to dictate their development; there was a generation of leaders who knew what they wanted to do, but they needed partners to help them get it done.
“It was for this reason I also set up the Africa Governance Initiative in 2007, to continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder with African counterparts to help deliver the life-changing improvements their citizens expect. And having seen some of the results of this bold and innovative approach to development – including AGI working alongside Rwandan public servants to unlock access to electricity for over a million people – I believe it should be adopted more widely.
“Of course, the report also made the recommendation that led to the Gleneagles agreement to double aid to Africa and provide debt relief and contributed to the creation of a number of bodies, such as the Investment Climate Facility and the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa. These have made a big impact on the continent this last decade and have contributed to the real progress it has made.
“This has included an average economic growth of more than 5% over the last 10 years and strong FDI growth, which is not just going to resource-rich countries, but to those with little resources too. It means that not only are people are living longer; but as healthcare, education and job opportunities improve, they are living much better lives. It also means that Africa has the potential to be an engine of prosperity capable of lifting millions more out of poverty.
“This continues to be in our collective interest. And the international community should continue to build a more mature partnership with African countries, helping to deliver growth, greater governance and ensure that the continent’s development rests with its people.”