Brown: Africa key to global growth

In his first major speech since leaving office, Gordon Brown called for Africa to be at the heart of a new global growth strategy, aided by a mass roll out of broadband.

Gordon Brown yesterday used his first major speech since leaving office to call for Africa to be at the heart of a new global growth strategy, driven by a new approach to aid and a mass roll out of broadband internet.

In a speech to African Union leaders at their summit in Kampala Gordon Brown said the ascent of Africa could lead the world out of recession:

“Future growth in the world economy, and future jobs in the developing world, will depend on harnessing both the productive potential and the pent-up consumer demand of this continent and the developing world. There is a shortage of global aggregate demand, so today every job not created in Africa is a job lost to our common global growth; every business that fails is a business lost to global growth; every entrepreneur whose idea can’t be realised is a driver lost to global growth.”

“There is an alternative to a decade of low global growth which would fail to meet both the development needs of Africa and the growth needs of Europe and America. To me the answer is obvious: as we struggle to find new sources of growth we must turn here, to Africa, to this continent of huge potential and talent.”

A rethinking of aid can help stimulate this growth. Aid should continue to support Africa’s public sector to provide essential services (health, education and water), but aid should not be an end in itself, he said. Aid should be seen as an investment in equitable growth and sustainable development by helping to unleash the private sector.

Gordon Brown also argued that a key strategy for future growth in Africa will be the possibility of Africa leapfrogging a stage in technology and gaining mass access to broadband internet access. He used the speech to announce that he was working with African leaders and experts in the field including Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the world wide web, for a major campaign and programme of work on the issue:

“Africa’s best hope for diversification into the high-value sectors is a massive acceleration in the use of IT. A third of people in Africa now have mobiles, but less than 1% have access to broadband. I truly believe that the rapid expansion of internet access in Africa could transform how Africa trades, learns and holds political power accountable.”

If Gordon Brown does launch an initiative in this area he’ll be following a great tradition of former Labour PM’s – Tony Blair and Harold Wilson both set up international development initiatives, establishing the African Governance Initiative and War on Want respectively. The Labour Campaign for International Development is currently interviewing the Labour Leadership candidates about their priorities – whatever their answers and whoever becomes leader, let’s hope that proud tradition continues.

You can read the full transcript of Gordon Brown’s speech here

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15 Responses to “Brown: Africa key to global growth”

  1. LCID

    Labour Campaign for International Development have also reported for Left Foot Forward on Gordon Brown's speech here:

  2. Simon Latham

    RT @leftfootfwd: Brown: Africa key to global growth

  3. LCID

    [email protected] reports 4 @leftfootfwd: Brown: Africa key to global growth

  4. Simon Latham

    Gordon Brown makes first major speech since leaving office in Africa: [we miss you Gordon! ;o)] xxx #gordonbrown

  5. DrKMJ

    Brown: Africa key to global growth via @leftfootfwd

  6. tory voters

    RT @leftfootfwd: Brown: Africa key to global growth

  7. Lester Holloway

    Gordon’s somewhat behind the curve here – China realised Africa was a key driver for its own growth years ago, and entrepreneurs like Mo Ibrahim have been riding the mobile revolution in Africa for just as long.
    And all the while Europe mixed words of bleeding heart charity with Imperial aid conditions and quite often non-delivery of aid. Unless Brown addresses this reality he doesn’t deserve to be taken seriously.

  8. sleegammage

    RT @leftfootfwd: Brown: Africa key to global growth

  9. winston k moss

    RT @leftfootfwd: Brown: Africa key to global growth

  10. JanbevCowan

    RT @LabourCID: [email protected] reports 4 @leftfootfwd: Brown: Africa key to global growth

  11. Robert

    What is brown up to, what he after, he could not come out in the UK in case nobody turned up, so he tests the water by going to Angola, this is the place he thinks needs more aid, like cancer treatment, because he sent home a few people dying of Cancer saying the NHS could not help them.

    I cannot stand the bloke.

  12. British Council

    Africa is key to global growth

  13. Anon E Mouse

    Every single person who has ever voted Labour should look long and hard at this picture and never forget it was the fault of this useless individual that the party is now out of office.

    What is ironic is that if he hadn’t behaved in such an awful way towards the people around him Labour may still be in power. The coalition government have inherited an economy on the up and crime stats that are on the down.

    It appears that Alistair Darling was right on the economy and because he was so comprehensively wrong Brown “unleashed the forces of hell” against him. Charming man.

    I go off Mandelsons account and I am quite frankly shocked about just how much of a bully this man was. Even though the writer of the article seems to think the sun shines out of the clown’s arse he is in a minority and his sycophantic and slavish support should be politely ignored .

    The Sunday Times put it best yesterday when it said the best use for a rural phone box would be to hold Gordon Brown Appreciation Society meetings.

    I think the less we see and hear from this man the better off we’ll all be.

    Gordon Brown should scrurry back under the stone he crawled out from and never darken the Labour Party’s door again…

  14. Cyber Informer

    Brown: Africa key to global growth: [] #Gordon_Brown yesterday used his first major speech since…

  15. UN development summit: Obama brilliance can't hide poor performance on MDGs | Left Foot Forward

    […] “when so many essential things are lacking” misses the point – as Brown outlined in his speech to the African Union in Uganda, support for broadband should be part of a new strategy for pro-growth, […]

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