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‘Advice is judged by results, not by intentions’: why Gordon Brown is wrong about Africa

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Chancellor Gordon Brown has declared that 2005 will be a milestone in the United Kingdom's campaign to meet the UN Millennium Goals. Owing to Britain's chairmanship of both the G8 and the European Union in 2005, Brown believes that an opportunity to raise the continent's star in global politics presents itself. This comes after the launch in 2004 of the Blair Commission for Africa and a recent spate of high profile interventions by assorted politicians and famous musicians. It also follows a trend begun at the G8 meetings where Africa is placed on the G8 agenda. Such an interest in the continent is to be welcomed. Yet this article contends that Gordon Brown's assumptions regarding Africa's troubles, and the ingredients found within his proposals, are mistaken and need rethinking. The article argues that Brown's approach to Africa's problems is based on incomplete information or a misreading of the situation, and by default may serve to prolong Africa's crises rather than alleviate them.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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