Thursday, March 12, 2009

IMF - Africa summit concludes

The summit between the International Monetary Fund and African political and economic leaders has just wrapped up. The summit concluded with a joint statement made by President Jakaya Kikwete, IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and former UN secretary general Kofi Annan.

The leaders plead with the international community to not give up on aid to the rest of the world. The fear is that governments will instead only bail out their own economies while cutting aid to the rest of the world.

For our snippet, we decided to hear from the second in command from the UN. Dr Asha-Rose Migiro was a little more direct in her comments

From the IPP Media story that wrapped up the summit, Perege Gumbo recorded the comments from Dr Migiro.

United Nations Deputy Secretary General Dr Asha-Rose Migiro had earlier underscored the importance of overseas development assistance to Africa, especially at this time when the world is facing an economic downturn.

She told the meeting that the continent urgently needs the assistance so as to attain the eight UN Millennium Develop Goals, where it is lagging behind, as well as address other pressing issues.

The UN`s second-in-command said it was of crucial importance for international organisations and development partners to protect Africa`s poorest and vulnerable countries from the impact of the financial crisis by honouring their financial commitments.

She noted that private external finance had been frozen and there was little room to raise more domestic revenue, adding that there was a need for a genuine desire to deliver on existing commitments to increase ODA or the MDGs would remain elusive.

Dr Migiro underscored the gravity of Africa`s plight, saying the economic downturn combined with high food prices, climate change and volatile energy prices in presenting daunting challenges to the continent`s policy makers.

She called on the donor community to deliver on promises made at different times and meetings, such as the one made at the 2005 Gleneagles G8 Summit to more than double annual ODA to Africa by next year worth US$ 62 billion in nominal terms.

``The amount sounds like a huge sum, but it appears more attainable when we consider the trillions of dollars that have been committed to stimulus packages in industrialised countries,`` she told the meeting, called to discuss how African economies could cope in the wake of the global crunch.

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