BERLIN -- Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Tuesday that China and India have significantly contributed to Africa's development.
Annan, chairman of the Africa Progress Panel, said that China and India, as "new players on the ground in Africa," are "making a difference" in the economic growth of the continent.
"One should realize that Africa is at a take-off point," Annan said before meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Merkel, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the G8 industrialized nations until the end of the year, has made Africa one of Germany's diplomatic priorities.
Annan called Merkel "one of the champions of Africa," noting the aid pledges made by the G8 nations during the summit held in Heiligendamm, Germany in June.
Annan also referred to the $10 billion raised at a replenishment donor conference in Berlin at the end of September for the Global Fund to fight diseases such as AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
Merkel highlighted her trip to Africa in early October and the outcome of the European Union-Africa summit held in Lisbon earlier this month.
Also at the meeting were former British prime minister Tony Blair who set up the Africa Progress Panel in 2006 to monitor the delivery of aid and other pledges made to Africa and oversee Africa's efforts to seek good governance and fight corruption.