OAU appeals to U.S. not to cut aid to Africa
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16 January, 1995
The Organization of African
Unity (OAU) Monday appealed to the U.S. Republican-led Congress
not to reduce development assistance to a poor African continent
grappling with economic reforms.
In the name of the pan-African body's 52 member states,
acting OAU Secretary-General Brawnson Dede said: "The threat by
the new Republican-dominated Congress to cut development aid to
Africa is deeply regrettable."
"Africa is perhaps the only continent embarking on two
policy reforms - political and economic - at the same time.
This region deserves the support of the U.S. and other donor
nations," Dede said in a statement.
Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs George
Moose said last week Africa would come under close scrutiny
following calls for cuts in foreign aid from Republicans now in
control of Congress.
Moose has said the United States spent $3 billion in Africa
"The OAU appeals on behalf of its members to the U.S.
government and Congress not to be seen contemplating to reduce
assistance to Africa - not mainly for its financial impact, but
because the U.S., in many ways a leader of the international
community, could encourage other donors to follow its path,"
said the Addis Ababa-based OAU.
Africa, with a foreign debt estimated at $360 billion,
depends heavily on external handouts for its survival.
Dede urged the United States to emulate Britain and France
in seeking ways to resolve the external debt crisis which "is
Africa's number one problem and which retards development."