African business, politics and lifestyle
Should developing world have more say in crisis talks?
African officials meeting in Tunis this week to discuss the impact of the crisis argued that the continent needed better representation, given the effects that the turmoil is having in Africa as well as the continent’s growing financial importance. The complaint could apply equally to other developing countries.
The global crisis has come just as many African economies were turning a corner, buoyed by improvements in governance, technological change, debt relief, higher prices for their exports as well as inflows of funds from Asia and from Western investors seeking higher yields.
Many African countries have spent decades gearing economic policies to attract more private capital and dispel a reputation as unreliable investment destinations.
But turmoil on world markets has cut the supply of money as the world’s biggest banks shift funds from new projects to shoring up balance sheets, leaving African governments wondering how their infrastructure will get built.
African officials were dismayed not to have a bigger voice at the summit in Washington.
“Africa … was not associated even slightly with the preparation when it’s a question of deciding the future of the world to which this continent belongs, in fact and by right,” said Jean Ping, head of the African Union’s executive Commission.