UN-HABITAT's Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, said that the Commission for Africa initiated by British Prime Minister Tony Blair will meet in London next week to decide on recommendations that will be brought to the agendas of the Group of Eight industrialised nations and the European Union.
"The Commission will be meeting in London next week to decide on the recommendations it should put to the world," she said. Mrs. Tibaijuka, one of 17 eminent persons on the Commision, told a news conference at UN Headquarters in New York that the African commissioners "are pushing for a radical report that could make the difference if conditions on the continent are to be put right."
The MDGs are a set of eight targets that aim to tackle a host of global ills such as extreme hunger and poverty, gender inequality in education, maternal and infant mortality and others, all by 2015.
The continent had to tend to its own housekeeping, she acknowledged, but would need help, much like the post-World War II Marshall Plan for Europe, to "break out of the vicious circle in which history has squarely placed it."
Having attracted investment which focused mainly on extractive industries and not on infrastructure-building, the vital transport and other infrastructure would not now be present even if important market access was opened, Ms. Tibaijuka said.
Africa could not manage on its own in an international environment that was not supportive, she said.
Illustrating the negative environment, she said some African leaders "are believed to be corrupt, but nobody asks who is corrupting them. They are supposed to have stolen money, but nobody asks who is banking that money."
"A more supportive international environment is needed whereby even if one wished to abuse one's position, the global checks and balances would make it difficult to do so," she added.