Launch of “Financing Africa: Through the Crisis and Beyond”

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On 15 September 2011, the Partnership for Making Finance Work for Africa (MFW4A) will officially launch a new flagship publication, “Financing Africa: Through the Crisis and Beyond” in Addis Ababa.  

The publication takes a fresh look at Africa’s financial systems in the light of major changes that have taken place in the global financial structure in the wake of the 2008 world financial crisis.

It is a joint publication from the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank, and Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.  The authors are Thorsten Beck, Samuel Munzele Maimbo, Issa Faye and Thouraya Triki.  

The launch is part of the 2011 MFW4A Forum hosted at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and with the support of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa.  More than 300 senior financial sector practitioners from over 40 countries will attend plenary and break-out sessions that revolve around topics related to the findings of the report.

“With this report, we aim to capture current trends, point to continuing challenges and highlight exciting opportunities in Africa’s financial systems.  We hope to contribute to the on-going financial sector debate on the continent, started four years ago with the establishment of the Partnership for Making Finance Work for Africa,” said Professor Beck, of Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

The opening plenary session will discuss the report’s main findings. The panel will feature Professor Beck, Mr. Gaiv Tata from the World Bank, Mr. S. Kal Wajid, IMF Division Chief, Monetary and Capital Market Department, Dr. Ralf Schröder, First Counsellor, Regional Development Cooperation, African Union, Emmanuel Nnadozie, Director Economic Development and NEPAD Division with UNECA, Mr. Arnold Ekpe, CEO of Ecobank, Dr. Ligoya Perks, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, and Mr. Lamin Barrow, the AfDB’s Resident Representative in Ethiopia. Mr. Stefan Nalletamby, the MFW4A Partnership Coordinator, will moderate.

Members of an audience comprising experts African and international financial institutions, government officials, central bankers, prominent researchers will discuss topics identified by the report as priority areas for policy action.  The authors will further discuss the publication at an evening reception at the Hilton Hotel.

“We are excited about this opportunity to convene financial sector stakeholders from across the continent and the world to discuss financial sector challenges and opportunities in Africa,” said Mr Nalletamby.

The publication covers Africa’s challenges in developing the current financial systems, the lengthening of financial contracts and safeguarding financial systems. The authors recognize that all financial sector policy is local, and they have carefully distinguished between specific groupings to differentiate between low-income and middle-income countries, and between small and large economies. Further, the book includes a special focus on resource-based economies and post-conflict countries.

“One size does not fit all“, emphasizes Samuel Munzele Maimbo, Lead Financial Sector Specialist at the World Bank. “As important as the commonalities across the continent are, it is critical to recognize that each of the 54 countries face their individual challenges.”

In preparation for the publication of the report, MFW4A organized a consultative tour around the African continent. The tour presented a valuable opportunity for the authors to present their preliminary findings and solicit comments and suggestions from more than 80 participants representing 50 stakeholders and development partners. The book also used survey data from 47 countries, as well as from nine fact-finding missions and numerous commissioned research papers that assembled additional expertise and research data to further inform and strengthen it.

“Compared to the previous book, our analysis has benefitted enormously from a much wider range of reliable data on the depth and scope of financial systems across the continent as well as information on the regulatory frameworks”, said Issa Faye, Principal Economist at the AfDB.

The report includes an analysis of North African countries to provide the text with a pan-African angle. With this unique consideration of Africa’s complete geography, this book benefits from better continental data and a wide array of experiences, positioning it as a reference for financial policy development experts.

“The unique experience of North African countries enriches the analysis and provides additional points of reference”, emphasized Mr. Triki, Principal Research Economist at the AfDB.

The MFW4A Partnership Secretariat, hosted by the AfDB, is an initiative to support the development of Africa’s financial sector. The Partnership is a unique platform serving as a financial knowledge hub on Africa for African governments, the private and public sectors and for institutional development organizations across the continent.