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11.11.2005 Business & Finance

African Finance Ministers to meet

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Accra, Nov. 11, GNA - African Ministers of Finance would meet in Tunis on November 22 and November 23 to seek a common position on a range of issues affecting regional economic development and chart a course of action for the coming years.

Representatives of the African Union, the NEPAD Secretariat, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and other important regional economic organizations would attend the meeting a release from the African Development Bank Group signed by Chawki Chahed, Information Officer said.

"As the year 2005 comes to an end - a year in which several initiatives on Africa have been launched - it is important that we not only take stock of commitments made by the region and its development partners, but also attempt to chart a course going forward," African Development Bank President and host of the meeting, Donald Kaberuka, said in a statement on Thursday.

The two-day ministerial conference would focus on the region's most critical development needs and review the way forward on initiatives emanating from last July's G8 Summit in Gleneagles and later endorsed by other donors.

The Ministers would discuss debt cancellation initiatives within the broad context of mobilizing resources to finance the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa. The Ministers are expected to examine a framework for a Pan-African needs analysis and discuss measures to ensure that any scaling up of aid would result in effective outcomes on the ground. In this regard, they would pay special attention to the infrastructure needs of the region, especially those identified within the NEPAD framework.

The conference would provide an opportunity for Ministers to exchange views on the issues of mainstreaming trade issues in national programmes, competitiveness and trading capacity against the background of the Doha Round and the forthcoming World Trade Organization (WTO) conference in Hong Kong.

The Ministers would also examine the impact of oil price increases on the economies of the region. President Kaberuka, speaking in Washington recently, had urged the international development community to accelerate work on facilities to help deal with the shock effects of oil price increases while countries adjusted to the longer term structural shift in the market. 11 Nov. 05

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