About 50 African Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning expected at 5th Joint AU, ECA meeting

About 50 African Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning are expected to converge in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the 5th Joint Annual Meetings of the AU Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

The theme for this year’s meeting is “Unleashing Africa’s Potential as a pole of global growth.”

13 central bank governors from the continent will also participate in the meeting, orgainsers have said.

The meeting will be in two parts, there is the working session of the experts to be followed by the ministerial meeting. The aim of the meeting is to look at the opportunities available for Africa as a continent poised to be a pole of global growth.

Addressing the first working session of the experts’ segment of the meeting, Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie, the Director of ECA’s Economic Development and NEPAD Division made a case for the relevance and timeliness of the theme of the conference – “Unleashing Africa’s Potential as a Pole of Global Growth.”

Among other factors he argued that given the current economic performance of an increasing number of African countries, as well as the standing of the continent on the global stage, it would be a reasonable assumption to state that Africa is on the right trajectory to becoming the next pole of global growth.

He however, admitted that global economic crises and the resultant economic recession in the rest of the world are bad for economic and social progress in Africa.

According to him, “weaker global growth and continued Euro zone debt crisis present Africa with serious challenges and have led to a slowdown of Africa’s growth momentum. Economic growth in Africa declined from an average of 5.6 in 2003-2008 to 2.2 in 2009, 4.6 in 2010 and 2.8 in 2011.”.

“It is in Africa’s interest to have a high performing global economy because a strong and growing global economy will benefit Africa through increased trade, financial flows Foreign Direct Investments (FDI)” as well as in Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and remittances, which are necessary for growth, employment and poverty reduction,” he recommended.

The experts session will end March 25, to be followed by the ministerial meeting on March 26 and 27.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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