9th International Economic Forum on Africa-Meet the challenges posed by international financial crisis

05/06/2009
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The ninth edition of the World Economic Forum on Africa opened on June 5th, in Paris, France, with Bank Group Chief Economist, Louis Kasekende, making introductory remarks. On behalf of Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, the AfDB chief Economist made a presentation on the continent’s economic situation within the context of the global financial crisis.

According to Mr. Kasekende, the global financial crisis has had a considerable impact on African economies to the extent that the continent’s economic growth will be reviewed downs from 4.9% to 2.8% due to external factors. 

Also speaking at the opening session, the Secretary of State for Trade at the French Finance Ministry, Anne-Marie Idrac, said that it would concentrate its budgetary efforts on Africa.  We are continuing to enhance our support to the African Development Bank Group as we have already done as part of the institution’s efforts to come up with innovative products such as its Trade Finance Facility and the Emergency Liquidity Facility as well as discussions aimed at increasing the institution’s capital in order to enable it have adequate resources to mitigate the impact of the global financial crisis on African economies. 

The forum underscored the two important themes on which discussions have focused:

  • Africa in times of crisis: local solutions for global challenges ; and
  • Innovations in information and communication technologies (ICTs) : What Impact on Africa?

Discussions were moderated by BBC journalist, Mishal Husain. The report on African Economic Outlook  was presented by AfDB Research Director, Leonce Ndikumana, and OECD Expert, Jose Gijon. 

Organized by the AfDB, the OECD Development Centre and UNECA, the 2009 edition brought together high-level personalities such as Cape Verde’s Economy and Finance Minister, Cristina Duarte ; Benin’s Finance Minister, Soulé Mana Lawani ; Senegal’s Information and Technology Minister, Abdourahmane Agne ; Unilever Africa & Asia President, Harish Manvani.; as well as finance, economy and ICT experts. Numerous journalists attended the event.