PARIS: G8 development talks on Thursday and Friday in Rome should boost foreign aid funding for Africa and increase the continent s role in international financial institutions, a French government body said.
As the financial and economic crises hit developing countries hard … this meeting will be a chance to reaffirm the priority given to Africa, France s state secretariat for development said in a statement on Wednesday.
Development ministers in Rome should reflect on a better representation of Africa at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, as well as allocating substantial means to the continent to fight the crisis.
Among the ideas to be debated will be a tax on foreign exchange transactions to support development, an initiative proposed by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, according to the secretariat.
The Rome talks will bring together ministers from the G8 countries – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States – as well as from Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico and South Africa.
In light of its presidency of the African Union, Libya will be present at the gathering as an observer alongside representatives from the United Nations and the African Development Bank.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned the economic crisis will have a devastating effect on Africa, where the economy is forecast to grow just 2.8 percent this year – half of its level in 2008.
G8 countries supply around two-thirds of global development aid. -AFP