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10.10.2008 South Africa

Financial crisis 'worries Africa'


The chairman of the African Union has appealed against any cut in aid following the global financial crisis.

Jakaya Kikwete, who is also president of Tanzania, said his country and other developing states were "deeply concerned" about the crisis.

"Skyrocketing oil and food prices" were also a worry, he said.

Experts say Africa is relatively sheltered from the global financial crisis, but there could be an impact on investment, remittances and aid.

"Our appeal to our development partners is that they should not cut aid to the developing countries," Mr Kikwete said.

"Tanzania and other developing countries are deeply concerned with the current financial crisis coupled with skyrocketing oil and food prices."

But he also hoped that the global economic meltdown would not ultimately affect aid.

"Our expectation is that the financial crisis in Europe and America, and now the huge sums of money that are being spent to bail out the banks, would not impact negatively on development assistance to Africa," he said.

Mr Kikwete added that his country was looking at ways to soften the impact of the crisis.

"This situation has plunged many people in various parts of the world into economic misery," he said.

"On our part in Tanzania, we are watching the situation and see what we can do to mitigate the possible effects of the problem."