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Africans Urged to Contribute More to World Financial System

African countries should have a strong negotiating position and make more contribution to the G20 summit on the reshape of the global financial system, African finance ministers and central banks' governors said.

"We urge South Africa to present our viewpoint," the financial officials said in a statement issued Thursday morning during a meeting on the impacts of the world financial crisis which has gathered top African finance officials in Tunisia.

Leaders of 20 major economies are due to meet in Washington on Saturday, with South Africa as the only country to represent the African continent.

"However, this cannot substitute for an active participation of Africa so that its voice might be heard and its interests taken into account," they said.

Head of the African Union Commission Jean Ping stressed the need to increase Africa contribution to the working out of the new world financial system.

Africa, which has always been an active partner of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, calls for larger participation in the process of the post-Washington summit, Ping said.

Even if the world crisis had not had direct effects on the African financial sector, it is nonetheless true that it will reduce trade opportunities, expatriates' fund transfers and direct foreign investments, he added.

As the world's poorest continent, Africa has more than 2 million people facing serious food shortages.

Africa's economies are expected to decelerate to 5 percent in 2008 versus a projected rate of 6.5 percent on the back of the global financial turmoil.

(Xinhua News Agency November 14, 2008)

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