The president of the African Development Bank urges the International Community to live up to the commitments it made to double aid to Africa. He warns Africa will not be able to weather the global financial crisis without increased aid from wealthy nations.
The president of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka says Africa is not to blame for the global financial crisis. Yet, Africa will be one of its primary victims.
In the past 10 years, he notes Africa has been doing very well. Its economy has been growing at about 7% a year. But, this growth rate, according to the International Monetary Fund, will be cut in half by the global downturn.
He warns this will result in a massive increase in poverty and the many achievements made in Africa over the last decade will be wiped away.
"It is about lives being lost, children not being able to go to school, children not being able to access medical treatment," Kaberuka said. "But, it is not because of the bad policies of their governments. They have been doing the right things. It is because of this international crisis. And, so I am hoping and expecting that in the process of the G-20, we shall find a solutions to the financial crisis, to the economic recession."
Leaders of the G-20 advanced and emerging markets will be meeting in London April 2nd to tackle the global financial crisis. Kaberuka says he hopes and expects the G-20 will agree on measures that will protect the achievements made by Africa over the past 10 years.
He says these countries must reaffirm their pledges to double their overseas development aid to Africa. But, he notes that alone will not be enough to help Africa surmount the crisis. He says Africa will need at least $25 billion more this year.
He is putting the G-20 on notice that it has to deal seriously with Africa and its problems. He says African representatives will present the G-20 with a number of demands.
"The first demand, and perhaps the most important is that our presence in the G-20 is not taken as a token, as a symbolic presence. We are 900 million in Africa. We cannot imagine a stimulus to the world economy ignoring the whole continent of Africa. And, we feel that we are part of the solution. That is critically important," Kaberuka said.
President of the African Development Bank Kaberuka argues Africa is not responsible for the global economic mess. So, as the world community looks for solutions to the financial crisis, he says it also should look for a solution to the broader development crisis on the African continent.