Africa's voice remain unheard in new G20 Framework

Sep 25, 2009 | Krishna Guha
The shift from G8 to G20 still leaves Africa and the poorest nations without a strong voice in global economic debates, the head of the African Development Bank
said on Friday. Donald Kaberuka, president of the AfDB, said the elevation of the G20 was “important and irreversible” but “the unfinished business is to ensure the interests of low-income countries are taken into account”. The representation of Africa has been a challenge,” he added, with only South Africa in the G20 to represent the continent’s 1bn people. He urged the G20 to bring in the most populous nations, including Nigeria and Bangladesh. The ADB president said the lack of representation was reflected in the new framework for balanced global growth, which did not address the poorest countries or their capacity to be part of the rebalancing process as future poles of economic growth. “We are missing the opportunities for the long term.” He warned that while short-term aid flows to the poorest nations had been increased in the face of the crisis, this had been done largely by bringing forward spending that would otherwise have taken place in the next few years. “Now the risk is that in 2011 resources for low-income countries are diminished,” he said, warning that the ADB and other regional development banks had already made aggressive use of their risk capital. He said it was essential the G20 provided additional capital for regional development banks as promised in the communiqué for next year, in addition to replenishing funds for concessional loan facilities. Source: Financial Times Ltd