Addis Ababa, 19 April 2013 (ECA) — The Committee of 10 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, the C10, met on 18 April 2013 in Washington DC at the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank.
In conformity with previous practice the meeting was preceded by the C10 Deputies Meeting, which discussed issues related to the theme of the meeting, as well as modalities for making the C10 more effective in supporting efforts to deal with the impact of the on-going global economic crisis on Africa.
The meeting focused mainly on the agenda for the next G20 Summit and progress on the implementation of G20 pledges and commitments to Africa. The meeting was also briefed on BRICS Africa Summit which was held in Cape Town, South Africa in March 2013.
To help in setting priorities for Africa, addressing the continent's central challenges and to pave the way forward the meeting provided an opportunity for a presentation and discussion of the impact of recent challenges in the Eurozone financial markets on African economies. In addition, ECA presented a paper on Economic Transformation for Africa's Development.
In his presentation to the C10 Ministers and Governors, ECA Executive Secretary, Mr. Carlos Lopes underscored the need for massive industrialization to foster economic transformation and create jobs for the hundreds of millions of Africa's young men and women. This echoes the central message of the recently published Economic Report on Africa 2013 on the theme: Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation
Mr. Lopes said that economic transformation involved increased productivity and shift in the sectoral composition of Gross Domestic Product, which involves a declining share of agriculture employment and an increasing relative share of manufacturing and services in aggregate output and employment.
His presentation highlighted several key messages, including the fact that economic transformation drives growth associated with jobs creation, wealth distribution, poverty reduction and human development. Yet, diversification and integration, according to him, remain integral to the transformation of African economies.
“Africa can learn vital lessons from experiences of emerging countries,” Mr. Lopes added, but warned that strong and visionary leadership and policies, trained human capital, good infrastructure, industrialization and value addition are some of the fundamental elements for Africa’s transformation agenda.
The C10 was informed that the world economy continued to be under strong pressure in 2012, with growth estimated at 3.2%. However, the recent pick up of economic activity outside the Eurozone is fragile and performance is not expected to be too dramatic. The global situation marked by fragility in Europe--Cyprus being a case in point, political impasse which led to sequester in the US, monetary expansion in Japan, lower growth in China and supply bottlenecks and policy uncertainty in India and Brazil all have serious implications for Africa.
The meeting noted that in 2012, real GDP growth in Africa was robust, averaging an estimated 6.6 percent, significantly up from its 2011 level of 3.5 percent. However, the deepening of the negative forces in advanced economies could undermine growth prospects in Africa; hence its growth in 2013 is projected to fall to 4.8%.
The C10 requested ECA in collaboration with the AfDB and AUC to provide on-going briefing on the global economic developments, including updates on the global crisis and its impact on the macro and real economy of African countries. Also, the C10 asked the ECA, AUC and AfDB to continue supporting it and to reflect on how best to strengthen the Committee’s work.
A communiqué was issued at the end of the meeting which among other things called on African countries to start the process of rebuilding their fiscal buffers and to build the necessary institutional and technological capacity and mobilize the necessary investment for industrialization and diversification. This is necessary for fostering Africa's economic transformation to promote inclusiveness, minimize inequality, optimize Africa's natural resources, reduce poverty and create employment.
Communiqué of the Seventh Meeting of the Committee of Ten African Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors 18 April 2013, Washington, D.C., USA