Emerging Economies Celebrate South-South Convergence

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Emerging economies of South East Asia and African developing economies on Tuesday celebrated the convergence of South–South fruitful development initiative at the on-going African Development Bank (AFDB), annual meetings in Arusha, Tanzania.

Government and private sector leaders from both sides who presided over meeting agreed that sustained inflow of development funds from China, India, and Brazil, among others, have provided hope for Africa.

Government and African private sector leaders said that the interventions of the emerging economies have filled the annual development fund deficit of about 90 billion dollars.

The interventions were helping to provide 70 per cent and 30 per cent of the funds needed for overhead expenditure and capital projects, respectively.   

Available data shows that Africa’s total development commitment stood at about USD 55.9 billion in 2011 or 40 per cent of funds needs in 2009.

The leaders who came from AFDB, China, India, Brazil, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, African regional organisations and the World Bank, said that the new economic bridges between the economies were on a mutual and committed basis.

Ethiopia’s finance and economic development minister, Sufian Ahmed, who led the discussion on “Building Bridges between Africa and Emerging Countries: Challenges and opportunities,” warned that in spite of the collaboration, African countries need to build strong institutions and strengthen internal revenue.

“African countries, using the Ethiopian experience, must be responsible before seeking external loans,” Ahmed insisted.

The Minister argued that unlike in the recent past, emerging economies are showing increasing concerns in sharing their experiences toward sustainable African economic growth.

The special assistant to Ghana’s finance minister, Newman Kisi, said that Africa’s major challenge was the dearth of manpower to manage the aggressive financing programmes of the emerging economies.

“The need to develop standards and intellectual capacity to effectively manage the issues relating to negotiations and protecting African interests are critical,” Mr. Kisi said.

He said that while the challenges and opportunities were country specific, Ghana successfully compelled development partners to implement 30 per cent local content in all contracts.

AfDB’s Director and Acting Vice-President, Gilbert Mbesherubusa, said that the continental bank were ready to bridge the knowledge gap in negotiation with the emerging economies.

Mr. Mbesherubusa said that the development mandate from the African Union makes it imperative for the Bank to provide African governments needed competencies.

China, India and Brazil say the new development bridges between the two economies were aimed at lowering production costs and creating sustainable shared wealth.   

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