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Merkel to discuss Africa aid with U2's Bono

Posted on Friday, April 13 @ 17:12:41 CEST by Macphisto

(DPA) -- Berlin - Chancellor Angela Merkel is to discuss aid for Africa with Irish rock singer Bono in Berlin next week, a German government spokesman said Friday. Tuesday's meeting at the chancellor's office comes two months before the G8 summit of the world's leading industrial nations which Merkel is hosting in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm.

Government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said the chancellor and the U2 frontman would discuss "general development issues" and the Africa aspect of the summit during their "informal exchange of ideas."

Africa is a major item on the agenda of the G8 talks involving the leaders of Germany, France, Italy, Britain, Japan, Canada, the United States and Russia.

Bono, co-founder of the organization DATA which seeks to raise awareness for Africa, has complained that G8 members have failed to live up to their aid pledges for the continent.

At their 2005 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, G8 leaders promised to double their assistance to Africa and add 50 billion dollars a year to global aid by 2010.

But aid to Africa from the world's richest countries stalled last year, excluding one-off debt relief to Nigeria, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said.

Germany plans to provide 2 billion euros (2.7 billion dollars) in aid to Africa over the coming four years. The money will be used in the fight against AIDS and education and training programmes.

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