As the Group of 20 developed countries head to Seoul for their 2010 summit from 11-12 November 2010, experts believe that the summit, hosted for the first time by an emerging market economy outside the G-8 countries, provides a historic opportunity to shape the future of the global economy, which has been battered by recent financial and economic crisis.
The impact of the crisis has been most acute in many African countries, which are not part of the G-20.
However, the decision to hold the summit in South Korea, considered as a “bridge” between the developed and developing world, leaves room to expect some measure of inclusiveness in the way the G-20 does business and that the plight of African countries will begin to receive considerable attention.
Africa is part of the economic solution to the global economic downturn. In the past, and to some extent, at present, it seemed African development issues were merely an addendum to the global economic debate by G-20 leaders. It did seem Africa is something that was dealt with once deliberations on other more important global economic issues had been concluded.
The continent has shown surprising resilience through the economic crisis. It is therefore important for G-20 leaders to see Africa as part of the global economic solution.
“Africa provides natural resources to the world, an export market for the world, and supplies its labour force to the rest of the world,” the African Development Bank (AfDB) Chief Economist, Mthuli Ncube,. said.. Noting that Africa was also integrated with the rest of the world, Mr. Ncube added hat “it would be a good strategy for the rest of the world to invest in Africa.”
“By doing so”, he said, “the world will not only be uplifting Africa, but also uplifting itself by enabling Africa to deliver on its side of economic relations.”
Only an Africa with strong, shared, and sustained economic growth would be a worthy partner in solving global economic woes.
Investing in, and supporting Africa requires the promotion of certain economic sectors identified by the Committee of 10 African Finance Ministers and Central Bank governors (C10), and discussed at the last Korea-Africa Ministerial Conference which agreed to seek cooperation and assistance at the G-20 level in the fields essential to Africa’s development.
These include: infrastructure, human resources, financial access, development experience sharing and institutional improvement.
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