The Commission for Africa: results and prospects for the West's Africa policy

Brown, William (2006). The Commission for Africa: results and prospects for the West's Africa policy. Journal of Modern African Studies, 44(3) pp. 349–374.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/s0022278x06001807

URL: http://www.swetswise.com/eAccess/viewAbstract.do?a...

Abstract

This article evaluates Western, and particularly British, policy towards Africa in the wake of the 2005 Commission for Africa, and considers what it tells us about the character of liberal internationalist policy towards the continent. The article reviews the Commission's report, Our Common Interest, and argues that it adheres in important respects to a 'liberal bargain' which has been at the heart of wider donor policy for some time. However, it goes on to argue that the kind of historical leap forward envisaged for Africa has strong echoes in nineteenth-century Western liberal forays into the continent. Yet there are lessons to be learned, and historical legacies to be confronted, from this earlier encounter. These come to the fore in the issue of governance and the difficult political issues that need to be confronted if the Commission's aims are to be realised.

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