Blog post

G8: KEEPING PROMISES?-Governance, Peace and Security

2 min read
6 Nov 2013


The G8 contribution to governance is rated as good. According to the Ibrahim Index on African Governance, between 2006 and 2011, 70% of African countries improved overall governance indicators, despite uneven performance. Fighting corruption and ensuring that democratic processes are clear tackles some of the root causes of poverty and provides an enabling environment for economic growth, and for the development of fairer and more inclusive societies. As the G8 has the potential to offer expertise and guidance in governance, this is an important area of intervention.

The two most important initiatives are:

  • the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM),
  • the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

The G8 provide respectively 70% and 60% of the funding for each of these projects. The Peer Review Mechanism promotes democratic processes, citizens' rights, and the rule of law in 30 out of 54 African countries. Though the amount spent by G8 countries on government and civil society sectors has increased from to between 2007 and 2011, the gross disbursement for anti-corruption sectors has decreased significantly.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative involves companies, who publish what they pay for, governments, who publish what they receive, and civil society, to whom they are held accountable. This allows for checking where revenues are going astray. As many poor countries have very good resources but don't explore them effectively or sustainably due to corruption and poor management, this is of critical importance.

Some problems which need to be acted on are conflict resources (e.g. 'blood diamonds') and the enforcement of foreign bribery laws. The Overseas Development Office disagrees with the rating based on the fact that all the commitments are based on a narrow transparency agenda and not on broader development goals.

Peace and Security

The report evaluates G8 work on peace and security as good, claiming that there has been excellent progress on the regional centres of excellence for peace support, on transport and on logistics. G8 members have donated over 60% of the funding for the peace and security sector. The pledge to train and equip 75 thousand troops for peace support operations was exceeded. G8 support has contributed to successful peacekeeping missions in African countries such as Mali, Somalia, and the Central African Republic. This has resulted in the African Union, African countries and regional organisations becoming able to lead the mediation and resolution of conflicts independently. There has also been a continuous investment on Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration is countries in post conflict situations.

Maritime security has improved. The G8 has successfully supported efforts to:

  • reduce piracy,
  • build the capacity of African states to cooperate on this domain,
  • construct information-sharing mechanisms.

The Overseas Development Office also disagrees with the rating in this area, considering that the report is very unclear and uses inadequate benchmarking.