US embassy cable - 01ABUJA1376

INTERIM REPORT ON MAP WORKSHOP AT ABUJA JUNE 2-4, 2001

Identifier: 01ABUJA1376
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA1376 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-06-15 18:51:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PREL ECON NI SF AG OAU
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ABUJA 001376 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED 
 
 
DEPT FOR AF/S AND AF/W 
DEPT PASS NSC 
DEPT PASS USTR FOR RWHITAKER, BSCHWARTZ, JROTH 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, ECON, NI, SF, AG, OAU 
SUBJECT:  INTERIM REPORT ON MAP WORKSHOP 
          AT ABUJA JUNE 2-4, 2001 
 
1.  (U) This is a brief interim report; comprehensive 
report to follow. 
 
 
------------- 
State of play 
------------- 
 
 
2.  (U) At the fifth session of the five-nation 
Steering Committee of the Millennium Partnership for 
African Recovery Programme (MAP) held at Pretoria in 
March it was agreed to convene a workshop to elaborate 
a detailed "Programme of Action" for implementing the 
basic MAP proposals developed during the first five 
Steering Committee meetings.  Subsequently, the 
Steering Committee met at Abuja June 2-4 for a 
workshop chaired by South Africa and Nigeria with 
limited participation by Algeria, Egypt and Senegal. 
Sidebar meetings continued throughout the week of June 
4, concluding on June 9. 
 
 
3.  (U) The MAP workshop session started with a five- 
member Steering Committee: Algeria, South Africa, 
Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal.  Subsequent to the 
official sessions, the Steering Committee was expanded 
to include four new members: Gabon, Mali, Tanzania and 
Mozambique.  The new members participated as observers 
during the official sessions, but did not have 
representation in the breakout groups that met to 
develop action plans for achieving specific MAP 
objectives. 
 
 
4.  (SBU) The MAP workshop failed to achieve its 
stated objective of preparing detailed action plans 
for implementing the MAP objectives as set out in the 
theme document, version 3A.  Specifically, Senegal's 
competing "Omega Plan" for infrastructure 
rehabilitation and development was not integrated into 
MAP proper and the several breakout groups developing 
sub-themes of the MAP did not finalize their products. 
 
 
5.  (SBU) Development assistance jargon characterized 
the breakout groups' discussions with their calls, 
e.g., for "rationalized regulatory structures, 
transparency, capacity building, sanctity of contract, 
private sector-led initiatives."  Several of the 
groups did produce written reports, but most of these 
were more exercises in textbook responses with laundry 
lists of problems than substantive programs for 
development.  Decision on integrating the "Omega Plan" 
into MAP was deferred for "later action." 
 
 
---------- 
Next Steps 
---------- 
 
 
6.  (SBU) The official sessions closed on June 4 
without a clear outline of the expectations for next 
steps.  Next locations (see para 6) for meetings were 
discussed, but no official Steering Board decision was 
taken on precisely what were to be the parameters for 
further development of MAP.  In a brief sidebar 
discussion with Ambassador Jeter, President Mbeki's 
Economic Advisor Wiseman Nkuhlu did offer his own 
thoughts impromptu, however: 
 
 
-- MAP is a work in progress.  Additional 
meetings will be required to "finalize" a MAP strategy 
paper for eventual presentation to potential donors. 
 
 
-- MAP should be presented to OAU leadership at a 
"Special Council" or "Heads of State meeting" 
preceding the upcoming OAU Summit.  OAU will be asked 
to endorse that MAP document as embodying the only 
valid continent-wide development program.  MAP, 
however, must remain "separate and apart" from the OAU 
and staffed with its own secretariat. 
 
 
-- The MAP leadership plans to approach G8 
leadership at the G8 gathering in Genoa on July 1. 
The manner of the approach remains "undecided," but 
could take the form of a dinner hosted (at MAP's 
request) by Italy, the current chair, attended by the 
G8 leadership and the "big three" of MAP: South 
Africa, Algeria and Nigeria.  An alternative could be 
the presentation of a brief paper (20 pages or so) at 
the margins of the G8 that outlines MAP expectations 
regarding assistance and donor coordination.  Whatever 
the form the encounter takes, Nkuhlu identified these 
issues as the ones of initial MAP interest: 
 
 
 --- Discussion of the particulars of a 
global fund for combating HIV/AIDS and other 
communicable diseases.  South Africa is working 
directly with the WHO to ensure the presentation of a 
plan that is consistent with other offers on the table 
already. 
 
 
 --- Renewal of the discussion regarding, and 
a request for concrete follow up on, the G8's "pledge 
to bridge the digital gap" made at last year's G8 held 
at Guam. 
 
 
 --- Discussion of special WTO conditions for 
Africa that would permit the continent increased 
access to developed markets, i.e., Europe. 
 
 
(And, to be added should the MAP Steering Committee 
actually develop an elaborated program in time for the 
Genoa meeting): 
 
 
  --- Discussion of a subset of the 72 
infrastructure programs, e.g., roads, power, airports, 
needed to make African nations competitive in the 
global marketplace. 
 
 
------------------------------------ 
The Debate Continues: Next Locations 
------------------------------------ 
 
 
7.  (U) Shortly after the official sessions ended, the 
Steering Committee decided on new venues to continue 
the debate over integration of the "Omega Plan," and 
to continue the work on forging a real plan of action 
for MAP: 
 
 
June 11-15 Pretoria to discuss draft 3A program 
 
 
June 18-20 Cairo to complete the 3A draft program 
 
 
June 11-13 Dakar to settle on integrating the 
"Omega Plan" into MAP proper 
 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
 
8.  (SBU) Comment.  At Abuja, June 2-4, we saw no 
significant headway made in developing a goals-based 
consensus plan of action for MAP.  As summarized 
succinctly by one of our Egyptian interlocutors, "No 
detailed action plan was developed beyond what exists 
in the 3A document already; not even the Omega Plan 
was integrated into MAP."  Our evaluation is not that 
negative. A few of the working groups presented 
documents that eschewed rhetoric and were more than 
mere laundry lists of problems or wishes. 
Nevertheless, much remains to be done. 
 
 
9.  (SBU) Comment continued.  The MAP has "issues, 
not the least of which is the participants' unequal 
levels of commitment to the program.  Without 
question, the Abuja session -- held in Nigeria to 
great fanfare by the press and government 
spokespersons -- was a South Africa-led and managed 
operation from start to finish.  The Nigerian co-host 
responsibilities consisted mostly of co-chairing the 
general sessions and hosting dinners and cocktails. 
Substantive participation by the GON was uninspiring. 
For example, the Nigerian delegation showed up four 
hours late for the one session that they were to have 
chaired.  All the major papers presented were South 
African drafts; South Africa chaired or led most of 
the meetings; the logistical support was provided by 
the Development Bank of South Africa and a private 
firm hired in South Africa was brought to Abuja to 
copy, collate, and distribute the papers, as well as 
to arrange for the meetings' venue and the housing and 
transportation of the attendees.  Neither did Algeria 
or Egypt contribute much to the effort beyond a couple 
of uninspiring papers.  End comment. 
 
 
Jeter 

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