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African Finance Ministers, Bank Governors meet in Nigeria

The meeting of the Committee of 10 (C-10) African Minist ers of Finance and Central and Regional Bank Governors started off in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja Tuesday, with a charge to them to evolve poli cies to absorb the external shocks arising from the global economic recession in order to stabilize the economies and flow of development finance in Africa .

Nigeria’s Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, who opened the meeting, said African economies were still grappling with the fallout of the global financial crisis which has necessitated falling commodity prices, job losses, delayed investments and reduced trade as well as capital flows.

He noted that these had adversely affected the growth prospect of most African e conomies, given their dependence on primary commodities.

“The global economic meltdown has made the Nigerian government to evolve a frame work which enabled the strengthening of capacity of policy makers, which consisted sets of institutional arrangements, notably the establishment of a Pre sidential Steering Committee on the Global Financial Crisis, chaired by Presiden t

Umaru Yar’Adua,” the Vice President said.

He advised the African Development Bank (AfDB) to remain focused and initiate mo re innovative approaches that would boost resource flows to the continent.

“Nigeria has welcome the initiative of the ADB to increase the quantum of resour ces available to both middle-income and poorer African countries through the emergency liquidity facility, trade finance initiatives and enhanced concessiona l resources for poor countries,” Dr. Jonathan said, encouraging the bank to put in place a sustainable framework for consolidation of its efforts in the medium and long term.

Also speaking, host Finance Minister Mansur Muhtar said the C-10 meeting had pro vided the opportunity to continue to engender policy initiatives that would prop e l African countries on the recovery path, as well as make a strong case for increa sed concessional finance that would support economic recovery on the continent.

The Committee of 10 was established at a meeting of African Ministers of Finance and Governors of Central and Regional Banks in Tunis in November 2008, under the auspices of the AfDB Group and in collaboration with the African Union Commission and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

It is aimed at monitoring the impact of the crisis in Africa, share and assess r egional and international responses and make proposals to help African economies

reduce the effect of the global economic and financial crisis.

The current meeting, which is being attended by representatives of the member co untries, including Nigeria, South Africa, Eqypt, Cameroon, Tanzaniam Botswana, Kenya and Algeria, is expected to deliberate on the issues and policy recommenda tions to be presented at the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh , US, in September 2009.

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