Low Focus on Africa in 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009 

Various commentators on Africa are becoming concerned that the continent is being left behind in high level debates on how to salvage the global financial meltdown.  The Managing Director of the World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, herself Nigerian, lamented the black out on Africa’s fate  at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Davos. Her concerns are  as a result of dire consequences predicted for Africa  by the International Labour Organisation and the International Moneray Fund.   

The International Monetary Fund has predicted a snail growth in emerging economies, especially Africa for the year. The slowdown has been predicted to drop from 6.2 from last year to 3.2 this year as a result of the global financial crunch.

The International Labor Organization has predicted some 51 million jobs to be lost this year alone across Africa and consequently those who do find themselves lucky not to be laid off might have their entire employment benefits eroded. The ILO warned that, if situatio6ns continue to deteriorate, about two hundred million workers will be forced out of their jobs especially in the developing countries. Poverty rates will no doubt increase and the developing countries will feel the effect more than developed countries.

The Managing Director of the World Bank wants more aid for Africa, advocating for instance US$8 billion out of President Obama’s US$ 800 billion stimulus package for the American economy.