865(XLII) Global Financial and Economic Crises

The Conference of Ministers,

Recalling the Communiqué on the financial crisis issued by African Ministers of Finance and Planning and Governors of Central Banks in Tunis, Tunisia, on 12 November 2008,

Recalling also the communiqué issued by the committee of Ten African Ministers of Finance and Planning and Governors of Central Banks in Cape town, South Africa on 16 January 2009;

Recalling further AU Heads of State declaration Assembly AUDecl.2XII on the international financial crisis issued at the Twelfth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 1 to 3 February 2009;

Deeply concerned about the adverse effects of the global financial crisis on trade, private capital flows, remittances, Official Development Assistance flows and growth as well as the ability of African countries to meet the Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 target date.

Recognizingthat the financial and economic turmoil is a global crisis and requires a coordinated response that takes into account differences in national capacity to adopt countercyclical policies and to tackle systemic flows in the global financial system while promoting job creation, and providing social protection.

Taking note of the outcome of the G-20 Summit held in London on 2 April 2009.

  1. Welcomes the G-20 invitation of Africa to the London Summit and requests for continued African representation in future meetings of the group as well as adequate voice and representation of the region in all global economic forums on reform of  the international financial architecture and in development finance institutions, such as the world Bank and the International Monetary Fund, that make decisions affecting the lives of its peoples;
  2. Welcomes also the proposal of the president of the General Assembly to organize a high-level meeting on the global financial and economic crisis on 26 and 27 June 2009 and requests African countries to participate at the appropriate level;
  3. Urges advanced countries to intensify efforts to boost global demand, restore stability in financial markets, strengthen financial system regulation, and unlock credit markets to increase prospects for global recovery as well as ensure that the financial crisis does not erode the tremendous gains in economic and social performance made by several  African countries in recent years;
  4. Urges the AUC and ECA to explore debt standstill and debt restructuring arrangements in consultation with the World Bank, the IMF and developed countries;
  5. Calls upon donors to fulfil their commitments to Africa on scaling-up aid and improving aid effectiveness as reflected in the outcomes of the Monterrey Consensus, the G-8 Africa Action Plan, the Gleneagles Summit, the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action;
  6. Encourages African countries to take appropriate action to cushion the impact of the financial crisis on vulnerable groups and prevent the financial crisis from becoming a humanitarian crisis in the region. In this regard, efforts should be made to support social protection programmes as well as increase investment in infrastructure, health and education, which are critical to success in diversifying the production and export structure in African economies;
  7. Requests multilateral and regional development-finance institutions to increase the quantity as well as access to unconditional financing for Africa, support countercyclical domestic policies, and respond more flexibly to the needs of African countries to allow them to weather the global slowdown;
  8. Urges African governments to deepen economic reforms and to refrain from imposing new restrictions on trade and investment in response to the crisis to avoid reversing the progress made in economic management and governance that have contributed significantly to the recent improvement in macroeconomic performance in the region;
  9. Encourages African governments to remove all obstacles to intra-African trade, harmonize trade policies and regulations, and fast-track regional integration to reduce susceptibility to external shocks and lay a solid foundation for sustained economic growth.