World can aid Iraq and Africa, says Chissano

By Bheko Madlala Time of article published Jun 12, 2003

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Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano said on Wednesday that it was not true that the Iraq war had diverted much-needed resources from Africa - the world had enough resources for the reconstruction of the conflict-ravaged country and for the support of Africa's recovery programme, Nepad.

Speaking at the Africa Summit of the World Economic Forum which is taking place in Durban under the topic "Global Challenges Facing Africa", Chissano said that Africa's problems could be minimised if the rich countries assisted the continent.

Chissano said the problems facing Africa were reflected by deepening poverty on the continent and the lack of access African countries to technology.

"The challenge that faces the world today is how to share the gains that have been made in technology and improve the capacity of poor countries. Africa also has to deal with illiteracy and we have to catch up quickly,"

He said wealthy countries should help Africa lift itself out of poverty because this continent's problems would soon affect rich nations.

Challenging the notion that the Iraq war had pushed Africa off the rich countries' radar screen, Chissano said: "The events of Iraq took the world's attention from Africa and there was a delay, but there are enough resources to build Iraq and to support Africa's recovery programmes."

Meanwhile, it emerged on Wednesday that the political crisis gripping Zimbabwe had led to the country's exclusion from the conference.

The World Economic Forum's director for Africa, Haiko Alfeld, said that a "conscious decision" had been taken to exclude Zimbabwe from the conference after all stakeholders had been consulted.

However, he said that the Zimbabwean business delegation was one of the biggest attending the conference.

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