AfDB President Lauds G-20 Summit

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London, April 3, 2009 – African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, has welcomed the outcomes of the G-20 Summit that ended in London on Thursday, April 2, 2009, saying they constituted an important step in the right direction.

Mr. Kaberuka, who was part of a New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) delegation to the G-20, said the summit had addressed some key African concerns about the global economic crisis.

He said the summit’s adoption of specific African proposals was also a landmark in the continent’s relations with the G-20, a group of the world’s largest national economies.

The G-20 agreement on additional resources from “agreed sales” of IMF gold to finance developing countries during the current economic crisis and the establishment of a new debt sustainability framework for developing countries, Mr Kaberuka said, had been made following representations from Africa. The African Development Bank played a leading role in forging the African position.

The proposed debt relief framework is expected to result in more even-handed treatment of Africa in the financial markets.

“The fact that we’re here and that our proposals have been considered is very good,” he said.

A high-level NEPAD delegation led by the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, represented Africa as a guest at the Summit. The delegation also comprised African Union Commission Chairperson, Jean Ping. South Africa is the only African state country that is a member of the G-20.

Mr. Kaberuka said the AfDB could benefit from the provision of an additional $850 billion by G-20 which will be channelled through the IMF and Multilateral Development Banks to support growth in emerging markets and developing countries to finance counter-cyclical spending, bank recapitalisation, infrastructure, trade finance, balance of payments support, debt roll-over, and social support.

The doubling of IMF’s concessional lending capacity for low income member states, also proposed by the G-20, would benefit the Fund’s African member states.

Mr. Kaberuka also welcomed G-20 proposals for improved regulation of the global financial system, stressing that such a measure would benefit the world, including Africa.

In a statement titled “Declaration on Delivering Resources through International Financial Institutions” issued at the end of the summit, G-20 leaders said they were committed to ensuring that capital continued to flow to emerging markets and developing countries to support their economies and global growth.

Mr Kaberuka also said the current global crisis was a deep-rooted problem that would take some time to resolve.

“It was an excellent summit. It is [however] the beginning of a long process,” he said. He said the implementation of the summit’s decisions was the next major challenge.