European charities 'want Africa to remain poor' British politician and peer Peter Mandelson. Photo | FILE | By TABU BUTAGIRA European humanitarian organisations are involved in a conspiracy to keep Africa in the throes of poverty, a former senior European Union official who is is now is a British peer has said. Lord Peter Mandelson, the ex-EU Trade commissioner, told a summit on Africa in London that European charities opposed his attempts to re-negotiate trade agreements that would afford Africa more commercial opportunities. When I tried to re-negotiate EUs trade rules, which were expiring [and] were not delivering on economic development, who were the people trying to silence me? he posed. It was the European NGOs. It was shocking! The former UK Secretary of State for Business spoke at this week's The Times Africa CEO Africa Summit held at the Savoy Hotel, the second annual such conference organised by the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper. Lord Mandelson did not offer specifics of the NGOs or provide details of their disapproval. His revelations, however, will lend credence to complaints by governments on the continent, including lately in Kampala, that Western charities have other unfriendly agenda. Mr James Harding, editor of The Times, said the newspaper aims to raise awareness about Africas potential as a lucrative investment destination, and not a basket case of conflict, corruption and communal violence. The story of real opportunities in Africa, he said, was being missed by western media. Africa Review My take: Pure philanthropist talk from Lord Mandelson. What action/s did he take against this when he was EU Trade Commissioner?