This year promises to be a decisive one for Africa. In 2005, the United Nations (UN) will conduct a five-year review of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which aim to halve world poverty (most of which is in Africa) by 2015. The G8 meeting of industrialised countries in Scotland, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks in China are two other meetings taking place this year that can potentially influence Africa's future and its ability to eradicate poverty. A new vision for Africa has also been developed and is being implemented now by African governments and the African Union (AU) through the newly formulated New Partnership for Africa's Development Programme (NEPAD). In preparation for all these key events, the British Prime Minister established the 17-member Africa Commission in 2004. The aim of this group is to define the challenges facing Africa and to provide clear recommendations on how to support the changes needed to reduce poverty. The report produced by the Commission consists of two parts: "The Argument", which presents the call to action for decision-makers, rich and powerful nations and the international community; and "The Analysis and Evidence", which consists of ten chapters laying out the substance of the report and the basis of the Commission's extensive recommendations. Chapter one provides an overview and makes the case for action to break the circle of poverty. The remaining nine chapters deal with the legacy and causes of poverty; African culture and misunderstanding about Africa; governance and capacity-building; the need for peace and security; investing in people; growth and poverty reduction policies; enhancing trade and making it fairer; allocating resources to support Africa's resurgence; and outlining steps to make it all happen through partnership, commitment and delivery. Extensive recommendations and Annexes are provided at the end of each chapter.

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Human health
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