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by Yao Graham, TWN-Africa


The 2009 Conference of African Finance Ministers which took place in Cairo, Egypt 6-7 June 2009 was characterised by vigorous debates about the nature, impacts, implications of as well as the policy responses that African countries should adopt in response to the global financial and economic crisis. The two day conference, formally the Second Joint Annual Meeting of the AU Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and ECA Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development  was under the theme Enhancing the Effectiveness of fiscal Policy for Effective Domestic Resource Mobilisation.


During the opening session Egypt’s Minister of Finance, Youssef Butros Ghali, who chaired the conference, remarked that while these were particularly bad times to be a Finance Minister, Africa should take advantage of the crisis. “Let us use this crisis to re-shape the way we deal with the outside world and the way the outside world deal with us. Let us change the way we do business, he urged. On his part Jean Ping, chairperson of the African Union Commission noted the breakdown of the market fundamentalism in the face of the crisis as well as the fracturing of the Washington Consensus. He wondered whether the time had not come for Africa to map out a new path based on a ‘Cairo Consensus’. In his opening remarks Abdoulie Janneh, executive Secretary of the ECA  noted that ‘the economic and financial crisis has rightly






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