Africa Progress Panel report states that Africa must be part of the solution to reboot the global economy30 Jan 2009
Panel of world leaders demands support for African efforts to manage the impact of global meltdown
Davos - A new report being launched today by Kofi Annan, Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, states that “Africa can be an important part in a global economic stimulus plan”, stating that “the scope for investment in Africa is vast”. Documenting the economic growth and positive political trends of the last few years, the report states that “Africa’s medium to long term prospects are better now than at any time since independence”.
However, the report also warns that “the global crisis could arrest and even reverse steady, and in some cases dramatic, gains that have been made over the last decade.”
For Africa to both mitigate the worst affects of the crisis and become a driver of global economic recovery and stability, the report states that:
- “Rich country governments and institutions must lend strong support to address the problems of climate change, by investing in adaptation and in the prevention of deforestation, and by increasing funding for renewable energy in Africa.
- “Africa’s own potential for a green revolution in food production must be realised… technical and financial support is required as well as additional investments in rural infrastructure to insure farmers’ access to inputs and market outlets.
- “There has been no progress on multilateral trade negotiations… while pressing for the impasse post-Doha to be broken, an early harvesting of gains in trade liberalization for Africa is needed.
- “It is more important than ever that Africa’s partners honour their commitments… aid is not the main driver of growth in Africa, but it is needed to lubricate the continent’s economic development”.
Critically, the report says that “a real partnership between Africa and her supporters is the only way for progress to be achieved”, requiring global governance reforms to “include means by which Africans are represented in a legitimate and effective manner.”
Kofi Annan launched the report at Davos at a session focusing on the state of Africa with leaders from across the continent. Speaking at the session, he said:
“Economic recovery in industrialised countries is needed for Africa - for trade, remittance flows, investment and aid levels. However, Africa is also integral to immediate efforts to reboot global growth. World leaders must grasp the opportunity to support African development as a means of driving their own economic recovery”.