In early 2004 the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, established the Commission for Africa. The purpose of the Commission was to take a fresh look at Africa's past and present in order to agree clear recommendations for the future. The intention was to provide new inspiration on promoting Africa.
Of the 17 Commissioners, over half were from Africa. During 2004 and early 2005 the Commissioners travelled widely seeking views from NGO's, civil society, governments and business. The Commission also welcomed written and on-line submissions, discussions forums and surveys for incorporation in their report.
In March 2005 the Commissioners published their report entitled, 'Our Common Interest'. At its launch at the British Museum, the Prime Minister opened his speech by saying the simple message from the report: 'Africa can change for the better. The report shows how. The issue is: do we, together, in Africa and amongst the wealthy nations of the world, have the will? The moral reason is clear.'
The British Government accepted the recommendations of the report. They became the basis for discussions during our 2005 G8 and EU Presidencies, at the UN Millennium Review Summit and at the World Trade Organisation Ministerial meeting in Hong Kong in December.
The Commission Secretariat closed on 1 August 2005. It's website will remain online to provide a copy of the report and background information on the Commission and the consultation process.