London consultations on Africa underway

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

London - Consultations on Africa have begun in London, ahead of the summit of the Group of 20 (G20) leading developed and emerging nations which takes place next month.

The consultative meeting is aimed at advancing the agenda items which Africa wants to be dealt with by the rich and emerging nations at the summit which will focus mainly on how to help the world economy recover from the current crisis.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is in London bargaining Africa's best interests that would be considered for approval in the upcoming summit.

Also attending the summit are African Union (AU) Commission Chairman Jean Ping, South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Abdoulie Janneh.

The meeting, according to an Ethiopian Television report, is focusing on development support for Africa, ways of additional financial allotment for the African Development Bank (AfDB) and more representation for Africa in major international financial institutions.

It will also determine what preparations should be made in advance of the G20 meeting so as to drive home to the rich and emerging nations Africa's interests.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is to represent Africa in the summit as called on unanimously to by the recent 12th AU summit in Addis Ababa and as invited by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

It is widely believed that the upcoming summit will serve as a vehicle to map out strategies for coping with the current global economic recession and to seek ways for sustainable solutions to ensure that similar financial and economic disasters on such a scale would not recur.

It is also expected to lay out directions that need to be pursued to help support developing countries, which are facing the effects of the global financial crisis.