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African finance ministers urge developed nations to maintain pledged aid
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13:10, October 13, 2008

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African finance ministers have urged developed countries to maintain pledged levels of aid to African countries despite the volatility of the international financial market.

Ministers from Gambia, Cameroon and Kenya told a recent press conference at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that their governments were still studying the possible implications of the financial market meltdown in order to prepare steps to mitigate any potential fallout, an IMF statement said on Sunday.

They urged donors to offer flexible programs in support of Africa's development efforts.

The African Development Bank is expected to organize a seminar in November to explain how the crisis could affect Africa.

John Michuki, acting finance minister of Kenya, said the problems global markets are experiencing could have been avoided if developed countries had adhered to IMF financial management tenets.

He said the effect of the fallout on economies of such countries as Kenya would depend on the steps their major trading partners, Europe in particular, intend to take to contain the crisis.

Gambia's Finance Minister Mousa G. Bala-Gaye said his country was anticipating a decline in tourism in light of the economic problems developed countries are likely to experience, and a drop in remittances by Gambians living in those countries.

The ministers said the crisis underscores the need for African countries to institute reforms to create a favorable climate for investment, especially in agriculture, that will in turn lead to increased production and self-reliance in food.

They emphasized the importance of creating goods and services while pursuing south-south cooperation among their countries, especially on the sharing of technical skills and experiences.


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