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Letter: Africa's burden

Sir: I have recently returned from a tour of Zambia and Malawi. I had the privilege of visiting schools, hospitals, farms and rural areas and had private meetings with the President of Zambia and the Vice-President of Malawi.

I have the impression that the continent of Africa will be forgotten by the rich countries unless urgent action is taken. The cancellation of debt, spearheaded by Jubilee 2000, must be the first step and we must applaud the British government for action already taken. However, further aid in the form of grants or gifts is essential. Investments which encourage business and agricultural development are urgently required. The West has taken much from Africa in the past and it is high time for us to invest heavily in the poor countries.