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African finance ministers to discuss impact of economic crisis

African ministers of finance, planning and econom ic development have scheduled a meeting in Cairo, Egypt, 6-7 June to discuss mea s ures required to deal with the global economic crisis, a UN think-tank said here .

The Addis Ababa-based UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) said on Thursday t he meeting would explore ways of dealing with the effects of the global economic

crisis through enhanced fiscal planning and ways of raising funds internally wit h in Africa.

The ministers will be discussing short, medium and long-term measures that Afric an countries need to take in order to weather the current global financial and e c onomic crisis.

The Conference will adopt a joint African position on other important economic i ssues, such as the ongoing reform of the international financial architecture.

“A common policy position in the form of a Ministerial Statement will be adopted at the end of the meeting, which will serve as a basis for action in meeting th e challenge of mobilizing adequate resources for Africa’s development,” the ECA s a id Thursday.

The discussions are part of the 2009 Joint Annual Meetings of African Union (AU) Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and the ECA Conference of Africa n Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

The Conference will be preceded by a meeting of the Committee of Experts, to be held 2-5 June 2009 in Cairo, Egypt.

The theme of this year’s meetings is: ”Enhancing the effectiveness of fiscal po licy for domestic resources mobilization.”

“The theme of the Conference is both timely and significant as external resource flows to Africa – official development assistance, remittances and foreign dire c t investments – have been declining in the aftermath of the recent global econom i c and financial crisis,” it said.

ECA experts said the theme of the conference builds on other recent high level i nternational discussions focusing on the global financial and economic crises, s u ch as the conference on Africa’s growth challenges jointly organized by the Inte r national Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Government of Tanzania.

Similar meetings, such as the G20 Summit in London in April and the Spring Meeti ngs of the IMF/World Bank, were also convened in order to reach consensus on Afr i ca’s contribution to ongoing global efforts to address the crisis.

This is the second time that the AU and ECA are holding joint meetings, followin g the first joint meetings held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last year.

The joint meetings provide a streamlined and coherent arrangement for bringing t he relevant ministers together and a framework for strengthened collaboration be t ween the AU and the ECA.

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