Cablegate: Interim Report On Map Workshop

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A
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

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

--- 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


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.


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