Interview with Charity Musamba

Charity  Musamba, from the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development joined Russia Today in Heiligendamm, Germany to speak on the question of aid to developing countries to be discussed at G8 summit.

Russia Today: You are happy the G8 summit taking place unless many of the protestors gathered outside the Heiligendamm summit. You are happy it is taking place – why?

Charity  Musamba: Basically, because we know that the G8, as a group industrialised leading countries in the world, have a responsibility to promote development globally and that the decisions they make do not affect their countries only but they affect the entire world including the poor people in Africa. So, our interest is to ensure that the G8 pays attention to the promises made to the poor countries in 2005, that we need action, not words, now. And I think this is why we are here – to remind them that they have not done as much as they promised. And the failure to meet these promises is costing lives in Africa.

RT: And again to talks about the global economy, about globalization. Do you think globalisation is a good thing or a bad thing? What is the impression you have got?

C.M.: Globalisation itself is not a bad thing, but I think that controversies arise when you begin to look at who benefits from these globalisation processes. And what we have seen so far most of the benefits of globalisation go back to the rich countries of the world and the poor countries continue to languish in poverty. So, unless we begin to balance these interests and ensure that we take into consideration particularly the situation of poor countries, then people would resent the process. So it is who really benefits from this globalisation, it is the biggest question.

RT: One of the concerns is that globalisation has a massive impact on a range of issues and actually, in a way, it could be linked to climate change, one of the key issues of this summit. Are you concerned that outside debates are going to develop the climate change discussions? How do you think into the whole idea of globalisation?

C.M.: I think that it is very important that the G8 takes time to address the issue of climate change. But our expectation is that the issue will not just be looked at from the technical aspect but that it would be given the development and domination it deserves. For instance, we are all clear that actually most of the impacts, the negative impacts, of climate change have been felt by the poor: the floods, the droughts in Africa and all other negative situations. As a result of global climate change that is going on, these poor countries do not have the capacity to cope with these adverse impacts. So what we are saying is any delay in arriving to sustainable solutions is actually an additional problem to the poor. So we are looking forward to concrete commitment and actions, plans that will give us the confidence that indeed the Western world, which is responsible for this problem, is ready to take the responsibility, the lead position in resolving the problem. We, as Africans, definitely are not looking forward to living in the world that is environmentally dangerous. And I think, what is more important, is to put poverty reduction at the center of the climate change discussions. 

RT: You have a role to play in that?

C.M.: Definitely like I have mentioned we are going to be victims of this process and we can already see these problems arising and increasing at a very alarming level. So what we are trying to do is to make sure that those who are responsible for creating this problem – take the responsibility of solving the problem.  Fight them while we can. For instance we have a lot of groups that our governments are trying to back on through programmes on aiding and improving the environment and self-guarding it, but we need the support of the developed world. Because the industrialization processes, the investors in Africa need to come from countries that show commitment to really respect the environment and the integrity of the creation.