The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday called on donor countries, to honour their commitments to Africa. In a bid to help mitigate the effects and impact on the continent of the ongoing financial crisis and economic downturn.
The IMF made the call at a 2-day conference for African Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the Tanzanian capital of Dar-es-salaam, stressing that honouring the commitments would help prevent the continent’s economic gains from slipping away.
Though African countries are in much stronger positions than they have been for many years, many of their economies still need significant additional concessional financing to weather the storm of the financial crisis.
While the financial crisis has been slow in reaching Africa, there is no doubt that it is coming and its impact will be severe. Falling commodity prices and market demands will finally affect the exports by African countries.
There is a real risk that millions of people in Africa will be plunged back into poverty after losing sources of their livelihood.
For the past few years, growth in sub-Saharan Africa has averaged over 5 percent per year.
But recently the IMF projected a decline this year for Africa from 6.3 percent to 3.3 percent, taking into consideration the encroaching effects of the global financial crisis.
Africa, therefore, should not be left out in the process of working out a global crisis-response policy.
As the international community is finding hundreds of billions of dollars for crisis resolution, Africa should also be remembered.
In spite of the crisis, donor countries must not forget that they committed at the Gleneagles meeting to increase their assistance to Africa to US$50 billion by next year and to US$75 billion by 2015.
This will not only protect Africa’s recent economic growth but also mitigate the impact of the global economic down turn.