Friday, October 16, 2009

Giving Africa a say in the International banks

From All Africa we find this African view of getting involved in the International mega-banks. One of the biggest criticisms of the mega-banks like the World Bank and the IMF is that the poorest nations do not have a say as to how the loans are made.

The Chronicle reporter Daniel Nonor interviews a senior research fellow for the Center for Conflict Resolution on why this is important for Africa. Sheila Burwaree also makes a point on how women have been hurt by the global recession, as governments step into try to fix the crisis.

Sheila Bunwaree, Professor of Gender & Development, University of Mauritius and Senior Research at the Center for Conflict Resolution, Cape Town, suggested this in an interview with The Chronicle, at the start of a three day dialogue on gender, Africa and the global financial crises in Accra, yesterday.

Sheila Bunwaree, suggested that a second look needs to be taken at how International Financial Institutions operate, and how Africa can project itself to make its voices heard in major policy formulations, not only from the north or the international financial institution's perspective, but also where inputs could be provided by Africans into the presets, so that the policies are tailor-made to suit the African situation.

"We should also look at the specificities of different countries, because sometimes the realities on the ground are such that we need to be able to understand and appreciate the differences, so that we can get the best solutions, which solutions should be African owned, because when they are imposed in a top to down approach, it would simply not work," she emphasized.

She noted that women have increasingly become disadvantaged by the global recession, as African governments negotiate bail outs and equity loans with private industry, and increasingly privatizing public services to protect it coffers and other national measures as responses to the crises.

She said the crisis presents a multiplicity of problems for women, especially as allocation of resources tend to take place in a discriminatory manner and women become more marginalized, stating that when resources are scarce the first ones to be at the brunt of scarcity of resources are the famine class.

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