Africa needs US$50 billion in the short-term to maintain its level of growth in the face of the global financial crisis, according to an official of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
“The funds are to be used to minimize the effects of the crisis in the private sector and households and to maintain a level of investment in infrastructure,” the Chief Economist of the AfDB Group, Louis Kaskende, told a press conference on Sunday.
He explained that his institution had at least three mechanisms to support countries facing the financial crisis.
He said the AfDB had disbursed US$1billion to help countries cope with the effects of global financial crisis, and had provided middle-income countries with an emergency cash fund to the tune of 1.5 billion USD in form of concessional loans.
Kaskende said a third mechanism – facilitating disbursement for fragile countries at concessional rates – was also in effect. He warning that economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa would drop to 1.4 percent in 2009.
Also speaking, Guillaume Grosso, Political Adviser at the Development Centre of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said African countries must maintain investm ent in household consumption and in infrastructure.
“Africa will be stronger out of the financial crisis,” he said, stressing that the crisis was an opportunity to develop South-South trade.
On Sunday, the AfDB issued in Dakar the 2009 edition of the economic prospects in Africa, ahead of the 44th annual assembly of the institution slated for 13-14 May in the Senegalese capital.
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