05.10.2004 General News

Finance Minister calls for more resources

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Accra, Oct 5, GNA - Finance and Economic Planning Minister, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo on Tuesday said adequate resources are essential if Africa is to sustain economic growth and achieve the Millenium Development Goals.

"We need growth to achieve poverty reduction. We need growth to resolve the serious unemployment problems facing most developing countries. But how do we generate growth without adequate resources," a statement from the Finance Ministry quoted him as telling the Plenary session of the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington.

Mr Osafo-Maafo lauded recent UK government initiatives to write off portions of debts owed it low-income countries to multilateral institutions, the United States Millennium Challenge Account facility as well as the International Financing Facility proposal that has been made by Chancellor Gordon Brown.

He urged other development partners to accept the challenge and commit significant additional resources that would allow countries to undertake the sort of investment and policies that would promote the attainment of the MDGs.

Mr Osafo-Maafo stressed the need for free and fair trade, which, he said, was a crucial source of sustainable growth for all countries. He expressed the hope that the Doha Round of Multilateral negotiations would be concluded promptly to improve market access for developing countries' exports.

The Minister assured members that many African countries are undertaking political and economic reforms with emphasis on peace and security as prerequisite for growth.

Mr Osafo-Maafo, however, expressed concern about the recent development in the crude oil prices, saying it could put the reform programmes at risk.

"In an already constrained environment, the rising oil import cost will call for additional resources in the short term to underpin the macro stabilization and other reforms that have begun to deliver increasingly rapid growth," he said.

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