New reports on Africa ring familiar: More international funding needed

Two recently issued reports on Africa outline probable future scenarios and logical steps for tackling the continent's poverty and the spread of HIV/AIDS. One report issued by UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) proposed three scenarios of how the AIDS epidemic in Africa could unfold over the next twenty years if more funding is not made available for treatment and prevention.

Without $200 billion in international investment, UNAIDS warned that nearly 90 million Africans—more than 10% of the continent's population—could die from the disease. UNAIDS predicts that 43 million new HIV infections could be averted if the funding is made available, but this amount far exceeds what is already pledged.

Another report was released by The Commission for Africa, an international panel chaired by Prime Minister Tony Blair. This report provided an analysis of the problems that plague the continent and suggestions on how other nations can encourage development in Africa. The commission's recommendations include debt relief, an immediate $25 billion per year increase in aid, and tackling corruption.

The Prime Minister will push for the G8 countries to endorse the proposals in the report when the group of industrialized nations meets later this year. Blair believes this is a moment of opportunity for Africa. "The lesson of the past few years is that we can't, for our national interests, ignore other countries and continents. So for reasons of self-interest as well as morality, we can no longer turn our back on Africa," Blair commented in a piece from The Guardian.