Committee of Ten Meeting: Cape Town, 21 February 2010

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The Committee of 10 (C10) was created during the meeting of African Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, which took place in Tunis on November 12, 2008. At this meeting, sponsored by the African Union, the African Development Bank, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the C10 was charged with the following three areas: (1) Taking stock of the impact of the global financial and economic crisis on African economies; (2) making a case for governance reform in the multilateral international economic institutions for enhanced African participation; and (3) identifying the priority issues for Africa and agreeing on inputs for G-20.

This last area is particularly important in light of the existing inequities exacerbated by the global crisis. In that context, the meeting emphasized the need to amplify African voice be enlarging the voting rights of the continent in the international economic institutions. At the same time, it was recognized that African capacity to effectively participate in these institutions needs to be improved, including by developing a clear strategy of engagement with G-20.

The Committee has met regularly - in South Africa, Tanzania and most recently in Nigeria on July 14, 2009.  Reports have been made to all African Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.  Submissions setting out an African perspective have been inputted into the G20 process, and were made to the G20 before their meetings in London and Pittsburgh.  

For instance, the most recent meetings have underscored the need for urgent additional resource mobilization and greater policy space (including in the Debt Sustainability Framework) to help African economies mitigate the impact of the crisis. They have expressed concern about the lack of consultation of African constituencies to inform the financial sector regulatory and oversight reforms; and have repeatedly called for greater representation of African voice in global institutions.

The Committee has reiterated its view that the African Development Bank should become the primary development institution and has called for substantial replenishment of the ADF and for early conclusion of a General Capital Increase for the Bank.

On February 21, 2010, the C-10 will hold its first meeting of the year in Cape Town, South Africa, ahead of the Bank’s ADF replenishment meeting, scheduled for February 22-23.

In addition to taking stock of the economic situation of the continent and the prospects for recovery, the Committee will review developments in the G20 since the Pittsburgh Summit, and identify African positions to be fed into the international debates.  The Committee will discuss also financing for climate change in the light of the Copenhagen Climate meeting last December.