Financial Crisis Could Put Africa’s Efforts to Meet MDGs at risk – Janneh

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Statement by Abdoulie Janneh UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ECA, at the Ministerial Conference on the Financial Crisis (Video)

African Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors were on Wednesday, November 12, 2008, in Tunis told that current food and financial crises could put at risk enormous efforts Africa had made to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Ministerial Conference on the Financial Crisis, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Abdoulie Janneh,  recalled the grim forecast presented at the recent World Bank/IMF in October "that up to one hundred million were at risk of falling into poverty because of recent food price increases, marking a setback equivalent to seven years of progress towards meeting the poverty MDGs". Mr. Janneh said that the financial meltdown in key economies had spread to other parts of the world and was impacting negatively on the real sector which contrary to views in some quarters would certainly have serious implications for economic and social development in Africa both in the short and intermediate term. The Ministerial Conference on Financial Crisis is jointly organized with the Third Economic Conference on Africa by the AfDB, UNECA and the AU Commission. The objective of the Conference was to discuss not only the impact of the world financial crisis, but to also seek the best approaches and solutions to protect Africa’s economic growth and financial systems. As part of efforts to find solutions to the crisis, Mr. Janneh made the following three proposals: First, that Africa should avoid panic actions since the crisis is not due to failures of policy and economic management in Africa. Second, that there should be no delay in taking short-term actions judged necessary for improving the impact of the crisis, and third, that Africa should pursue the establishment of international economic, financial, monetary, and trade systems that enhance global economic governance to ensure the protection of African countries from future financial turbulence. 

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