THIS WEEK: IMF, regional ministers deliberate effects of financial crisis

The IMF projects that in 2009 there will be major deteriorations in both the fiscal and external accounts of sub-Saharan Africa. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is hosting a major international conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania this starting tomorrow.

The IMF projects that in 2009 there will be major deteriorations in both the fiscal and external accounts of sub-Saharan Africa.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is hosting a major international conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania this starting tomorrow.

The conference that is co-hosted by Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete will discuss challenges affecting Africa’s economic growth in the wake of the global financial crisis.

“The key objective of the conference is to showcase Africa’s recent economic success. For the first time in decades, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa have sustained high rates of economic growth and rising income levels,” a recently released statement says.

“Despite global financial turmoil and food and fuel price shocks, growth has remained strong and opportunities for investment are being more actively explored,” it added.

Under the theme “Successful partnerships for Africa’s Growth Challenge”, the conference will examine Africa’s response to the changing challenges and will elaborate the evolving roles of partners-particularly the IMF.

 “The objective of the conference is to draw lessons from successes in Africa over the past decade and discuss policies that will ensure that the current global economic turmoil does not jeopardize this success,” says the IMF website.

The meeting will bring together African Finance Ministers and central bank Governors, senior representatives of partner countries, global and regional private sectors, prominent academics, and civil society.

The keynote address will delivered by the former United Nations (UN) Secretary General Kofi Annan, under the topic “Sustaining Success in the Face of Global Financial Turmoil: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future,” Guest speakers at the conference include ; Dominique Strauss Kahn , the Managing Director of IMF , Asha –Rose Migiro ,the Deputy UN Secretary General, Donald Kaberuka ,President of African Development Bank ,Ngozi Okonjo Iweala , the Managing Director World Bank , Jeffrey Sachs ,Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University  and Valentine Rugwabiza , the  deputy Director  General of WTO.

The IMF expects growth in sub-Saharan Africa to slow from about 5¼ percent in 2008 to about 3¼ percent in 2009, about 3 percentage points less than projected just four months ago.

Despite weaker financial linkages with the rest of the world than many other regions, Africa is likely to be hard hit by the global economic downturn, putting at risk the progress made across the continent in recent years, the IMF says.

“While the headlines have been dominated by the impact of the crisis on advanced economies and emerging markets, the crisis also poses a severe challenge for African countries, which the international community must not ignore,” IMF Deputy Managing Director Takatoshi Kato told the 12th Summit of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia.

“Priority for Africa and for the international community needs to be preservation of the significant achievements in Africa over the past decade,” he added.

For 2009, the IMF projects major deteriorations in both the fiscal and external accounts of sub-Saharan Africa.

Ends

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