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Last Updated:[18-03-2009 05:18:04 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Africa Clamours for Aid Prior to the G-20 Summit

tradenews During the Consultative Meeting prior to the G-20 Summit between the leaders of the African nations and the Prime Minister of Britain, Gordon Brown, the African leaders have strongly appealed to release the promised aid by the developed countries. The G20 Summit is scheduled to be held on 2 April in London which is aimed at addressing the current global economic and financial crisis.

Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi has urged the international community to allow the IMF to offload some of its gold reserves to help African countries that were in serious trouble owing to the delay in promised funds and global downturn. African gold producers have opposed the idea but Zenawi feels the action would not impact the gold prices taking into account the present highs.

Africa needs about $50bn to tide over the drop in investments and over-all business. Zenawi added the emergency funds they needed was negligible as compared to the bailouts that had been handed out by several rich countries to their banks and companies.

Global economic crisis has affected almost all areas of the African economy and have significantly lowered foreign investment and aid. The continent fears worst humanitarian crisis by which people will die due to lack of food, and thereby escalate social tensions.

At the IMF conference for Africa last week, Trevor Manuel, South Africa’s finance minister aggressively stated Africa knew present crisis was the fallout of what and wanted to be set right by the same hands. South Africa is the only country from the African continent which is a member of G-20 group of nations. Manuel’s words signal the country will go all out to meet maximum of their demands on behalf of Africa than succumbing to any pressure in the forthcoming summit.

More than 20 African leaders attended the Consultative Meeting hosted by the British prime minister. At the G8 Gleneagles Summit in 2005 which was coincidently hosted by the UK, the group had committed approximately $65bn in aid by 2010.

By Jose Roy

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