Addis Ababa Hosts Second African Economic Conference

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Addis Ababa Hosts Second African Economic Conference

Tunis, 1 November 2007 – More than 300 experts from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas will participate in the second African Economic Conference (AEC) on "Opportunities and Challenges of Development for Africa in the Global Arena", to be jointly organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) from 15-17 November 2007 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The conference aims at encouraging the exchange of ideas between economists and decision-makers, strengthening access to information and research on economic issues, and in doing so, improve the quality of the economic policies in the region.

It seeks to promote knowledge management as a critical component in the conception and implementation of policies, encourage dialogue and foster the exchange of ideas between economists and African decision-makers. It also seeks to encourage and strengthen research on economic issues linked to the development of African economies as well as provide regional and sub-regional organisations the opportunity to disseminate their research and share information on their activities with African leaders.

The opening session will be addressed by AfDB President Donald Kaberuka, the Executive Secretary of UNECA, Abdoulie Janneh, the Executive Director of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), William Lyakurwa, and Ethiopia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mekonnen Manyazewal.

This will be followed by panel discussions and concurrent sessions on gender inequality, trade negotiations and aid-for-trade, micro-finance, monetary and financial regulation as well as Africa and Asia Competitiveness. Discussions will also focus on regional integration and income convergence in Africa, agriculture and rural credit, trade issues affecting specific industries with particular reference to the effects of reciprocity under an economic partnership agreement with the European Union on Malawi and Tanzania and the impact of AGOA on the Ethiopian textile sector.

The conference will also discuss the investment climate and capital flows, gender and poverty, micro-credit and corruption, among others.

AfDB Chief Economist, Louis Kasekende, and the UNECA Trade and Regional Integration Director, Hakim Ben Hammouda, will address the closing session.

The inaugural AEC was organized by the AfDB from 22-24 November 2006 in Tunis with a focus on "What has happened in Africa five years into the 21st Century and what are the region’s prospects in the years ahead?" More than 250 distinguished researchers, economists, university professors, African Think-Tanks notably, the chairman of Microsoft Africa , Cheick Modibo Diarra, Patrick Guillaumont of the France-based CERDI (International Development Research Studies Centre), Ji Hong Kim of the Korean Development institute, Alan Gelb, of the World Bank as well as representatives of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the UK-based Department for International Development (DFID), were among the participants.