African finance experts have urged the African Union Commission (AUC) to assess the impact of the Euro-zone crisis and the response of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to it in relation to the African Monetary Fund (AMF).
They also urged member states to provide their remarks and comments on the AMF Statutes to the AUC within the next three weeks.
The decisions were part of the recommendations adopted by the Committee of African Experts of the 6th Joint Annual Meetings of the African Union (AU) Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, which ended its meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, Sunday.
The recommendations, aimed at moving Africa beyond dependence on the production and export of unprocessed materials, drew on the theme of the conference – “industrialisation for an emerging Africa”.
They will be considered by the ministerial segment of the meeting beginning Monday in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The committee also recommended that an extraordinary session of the AU conference of African ministers should be organised before the AU summit in May 2013, to consider the technical study report of the establishment of a Pan African stock exchange, the Statute of the AMF and the study on Alternative Sources of funding the AU.
The African experts, who started their meeting 21 March, also agreed that the discussion on regional integration in Africa should revisit the major debate on integration approaches proposed by former Tanzania President Julius Nyerere and former Ghana leader Kwameh Nkrumah at independence, to see if any of these was suitable for Africa today.
NKrumah had called for rapid integration so that sovereignty tendencies would not inhibit the drive toward integration, while Nyerere called for gradualist approach to integration based on the development of regional pillars.
The experts unanimously agreed that industrialisation has the potential to be a powerful driver of sustainable economic growth in Africa, and that for Africa to achieve this, governments need to adopt policies that will support the promotion of value addition and economic transformation.
While sustained growth has contributed significantly to rapid economic transformation in other parts of the world, experts here said the relatively good growth performance in Africa has not been inclusive, as millions of Africans are caught in the poverty trap due largely to the lack of diversification of sources of growth, including over-reliance on primary commodity exports.
In addition, Africa’s significant natural resources are being extracted and exported in their raw form, rather than as finished products, a situation experts call “missed opportunity” for more robust, diversified and sustainable economic development.
The two-day ministerial conference is expected to lead to the adoption of a ministerial policy statement that will provide the basis for concerted action at national and regional levels on the issues discussed.