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AfDB calls for concerted action in Africa to sustain growth in post-recession period

The President of African Development Bank (AfDB, Mr Donald Kabureka says recovery from the global economic recession is modest and fragile.

He called for concerted action by African countries to sustain growth in the post-recession period. Kabureka spoke in Cape Town on Sunday, as ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors in the C10 in the continent gathered to forge the way forward after the recession and also to look at issues in the post-Copenhagen summit period.

The President said that it was heart warming that much of Africa had avoided the worst effects of the recession, explaining that there was prospect of brighter fortunes in the continent in 2010 and beyond.

“Looking at 2010, I totally concur with the IMF looking at encouraging numbers of four and a half, even five per cent of real GDP growth in 2010 and going into 2011 gaps of one-and-a-half per cent higher,” he said.

Kabureka said that the AfDB had the challenge of navigating around the uncertainties that were in the horizon to see what it could do to mitigate effects of the downside.The AfDB boss said he was strongly persuaded that the strong performance in large emerging countries would have a positive effect in the demand for African commodities.

Mr Maxwell Mkwezalamba, Commissioner, Economic Affairs, AU Commission, said the place of the C10 in mapping the way forward for Africa was important. He said the African continent must also take advantage of the membership of South Africa in the G20 to push the continent”s voice deeper while also pressing for a permanent seat for Africa. Mkwezalamba, however emphasized that aside the G20, African countries must strive to take internal actions in addressing issues confronting the continent in their bid to sustain growth.

“As we are using the G20 to address concerns, we still need to do some things on our own,” he said, noting that the impact of the global economic crisis was less severe on African countries because we were implementing infrastructural reforms.

He said the continent should continue to protect macro economic policies while also adopting tight fiscal monetary policies and promoting intra African trade. South Africa’s Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan said the global economic crisis brought to the fore how happenings in a country could affect all parts of the globe. He said governments should continue to mitigate impacts of the crisis in their countries and share ideas to help one another.

Gordhan said Africa had potentials of becoming the solution to the challenge of imbalance in the world in the next 10 years.|

“The biggest challenge in the world is imbalance between China overproducing and the US over consuming. If you want demand in the world, the demand is not in the U.S anymore. Africa has the potential with the right investment to become a new centre of demand. It can become the solution to the world”s problem in the next 10 years by having people consume goods that can”t be consumed in their traditional places over the last 20-30 years,” he said. The C10 meeting, which later continued behind closed doors, is expected to come out with a communiquéé.


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