[JURIST] Newly appointed World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz [official profile], the former US deputy defense secretary considered one of the most influential "neo-conservatives" in the Bush administration, said Wednesday in the run-up to the G8 summit [official website] that developed nations as well as developing countries in Africa have a responsibility to address widespread government corruption before the issue of debt relief and other aid initiatives can be fully addressed. African relief [G8 backgrounder] is to be a major focal point of the Gleneagles meeting, with British Prime Minister Tony Blair's initiative as summit host being magnified by major public campaigns led by coalitions of aid groups [Make Poverty History website] and rock stars [Live8 website]. In his speech in Edinburgh Wednesday to a meeting on African trade, Wolfowitz stated that
[t]he responsibility to deal with corruption is not just something for African governments and African people. The developed countries have a huge responsibility as well. They have a responsibility I think to help the poor countries in Africa recover some of the assets that have been taken from them and deposited in banks in developed countries… [E]very corrupt transaction has two parties to it… [and] we all have a responsibility to try to crack down on both ends of these transactions.
AP has more
. In a somewhat tougher message, President Bush, meeting with Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen, said Wednesday that African nations seeking aid from the US will have to first “abide by the rules of democracy”:
We expect there to be good governance on the continent of Africa. I don't know how we can look our taxpayers in the eye and say, this is a good deal to give money to countries that are corrupt.
Read President Bush’s full remarks here