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G-20 Summit in Toronto: Strengthening Africa’s Voice


African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, will participate in the G-20 leaders meeting in Toronto from 26-27 June 2010.  At the institution’s recent Annual Meetings in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in May 2010, Mr. Kaberuka was re-elected as the institution’s president for a second five-year term.  As with previous G-20 Summits, Mr. Kaberuka will attend in his capacity as a member of the African Union delegation.

The Toronto summit will focus on key issues facing the global economy.  In the short term, the priority is to sustain the recovery.  At their last summit in Pittsburgh, G-20 leaders launched a framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth to achieve a sustainable recovery.  They urged all countries to work together to meet shared objectives, adopt macro-economic policies that promote strong and balanced growth, fiscal sustainability, and structural reforms.   

Leaders will consider a report which will assess progress, how policies fit together, and whether these are collectively consistent with stronger, more sustainable and balanced growth over the medium term.  To date, recovery has been uneven, and there are signs that the crisis may have a long-lasting impact on the pace of growth and poverty reduction in Africa and other developing countries. Fiscal consolidation and tighter financial sector regulation in G-20 countries will also have implications for financial flows to developing countries, and likely limit their access to financing.

Africa’s rebound from the crisis was faster and more robust than initially expected, although it remains vulnerable to external shocks.  However, building on a decade of reform and progress, and with appropriate support, Africa has the potential to be one of the fastest growing regions in the world. Africa’s participation in the dialogue and the work of the G-20 is therefore critical.

The G-20 is expected to establish a development working group to look at ways of  narrowing the development gap and reducing poverty, submitting a report to the next G-20 Summit in Seoul in November.  Mr. Kaberuka and African leaders have consistently argued for Africa to have greater representation in the G-20. At present, only South Africa is a member.  The Committee of 10 comprising African finance ministers and central bank governors  established by the AfDB, the AU Commission and the Economic Commission for Africa will continue to monitor the crisis and its impact on Africa, the recovery, and provide advice to African leaders.

G-20 leaders committed to ensuring that multilateral development banks have the resources they need, and that the funds were used to effectively achieve development outcomes.  Following the exceptional response by the AfDB to the financial and economic crisis, the institution’s board of governors approved a general capital increase for the AfDB which will triple its resources to some USD 100 billion at the 2010 Annual Meetings.  However, negotiations continue on the 12th replenishment of the African Development Fund which provides concessional resources to low-income African countries.  The previous replenishment provided USD 8.9 billion for the 2008-2010 period and the AfDB has put forward a strong case for an increase for the 2011-13 period.

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