AU demands role in financial reform

November 16, 2008

, STRASBOURG, November 16 – Africa must be consulted over any reform of the world\’s financial architecture, said the African Union Sunday, after major economic powers ended their summit in Washington.

"There is one problem for us, and that is that people tend to take decisions for us, without listening to us, and then impose them on us," Jean Ping, chairman of the AU commission, said in Strasbourg, northern France.

"Africa demands to be heard," he said. "We want to be listened to and we wish to take part in the decisions involving our future destiny," he added.

In the past, he added, "they imposed a model on us that we accepted, but which Asia rejected. The results are plain for all to see: development in Asia thrived, but collapsed in Africa."

Ping was speaking at one of the European Development Days events, a European Commission-organised event uniting players in the development community.

Leaders from the world\’s 20 economic powers agreed at their Washington summit on an action plan to restore global growth and prevent future financial upheaval while promising new spending plans, a trade deal and a set of reforms.

The leaders, taking part Saturday in one of the biggest international economic gatherings in years, pledged responses on a number of fronts, with another meeting scheduled for April to flesh out policies.

They agreed that both the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the two main international financial institutions created in 1944 in Bretton Woods, should be modernised.

Benin President Thomas Yayi Boni, welcomed the results of the G20 summit, but said: "Our wish now is to move into actions, because we have to ensure that no gap forms between words and deeds."

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