Bono urges Germany to use G-8 to help Africa

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BERLIN -- Bono urged Germany on Monday to use next month's Group of Eight meeting as a platform to push for more aid for Africa.

Speaking after talks with Kurt Beck, the leader of Germany's Social Democrats, which make up half of Chancellor Angela Merkel's governing coalition, Bono said he was thankful the G-8 talks were being held here.

"We know that we have your support and that Germany will keep its promises," the U2 frontman/activist said.

Bono, 47, said important breakthroughs for Africa had come at previous G-8 talks, including pledges to forgive much African debt from last year's summit and funding for important programs from the 1999 meeting in Cologne.

"As a result of the (Cologne) resolutions, today 20 million more African children are going to school," he said.

Merkel has pledged a strong focus on Africa at the summit, being held in the northern town of Heiligendamm.

"We know that we can really help with our resources ... and we want to show to this continent our understanding of freedom, justice and solidarity is not limited to us, but goes for the whole world," she said over the weekend in her weekly podcast.

She identified as key points continuing efforts to forgive debt and increase development aid funds, and helping the fight against HIV/AIDS.



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