The meeting of the African Group of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the 54 African member states of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund “African Caucus” kicked off on Tuesday in Marrakech.
Placed under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, this meeting, which continues until July 6, offers the opportunity to analyze the challenges facing African countries and to discuss ways to help them face them.
The opening ceremony of this large-scale event was marked by a Royal Message addressed by His Majesty King Mohammed VI to the participants, which was read out by Minister of Economy and Finance Nadia Fettah Alaoui.
In this Royal message, His Majesty King Mohammed VI stressed the need for “stronger support and more consistent international cooperation in favor of African countries” to “spare them from being severely affected by the inflationary wave that is hitting the global economy and to help them develop greater resilience to external shocks.”
The Sovereign noted that the world had barely emerged from the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic when the global economy found itself caught in a spiral of unprecedented disruptions to supply chains and subject to growing inflationary pressures and a record rise in energy, food and commodity prices.
The African continent appears, in this difficult situation, “as one of the most affected regions, both in terms of the multiple threats to its food and energy security and the decline in its economic growth rates,” noted HM the King.
In an address on this occasion, Fettah Alaoui highlighted the constant commitment of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to joint action and African solidarity, noting that the African Caucus 2022 will address issues of great importance to the Continent, in particular the most appropriate way to defend the interests of Africa at the World Bank and the IMF and the mobilization of Breton Woods institutions to provide more effective support to Africa in the pursuit of its resilience.
In this regard, she noted that African countries are facing a conjunction marked by crises and challenges of unprecedented magnitude, while the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down decades of development progress on our continent, with poverty indicators tending to rise.
She continued that the pandemic, coupled with the Ukrainian crisis and climate change, have amplified existing development challenges in Africa, including those related to youth, unemployment, the digital divide and energy and food insecurity.
Fettah Alaoui said that discussions will focus on financing Africa’s development, repositioning public debt as a catalyst, economic recovery and sustainable growth and rethinking global finance and on regional integration, particularly in areas such as energy, digitization and youth, entrepreneurship initiatives, and the climate crisis and food security in Africa.
For his part, the High Representative for the African Union (AU) Peace Fund, Dr. Donald Kaberuka, called for strong and sustained international support to enable Africa to transcend the enormous challenges it faces, which are brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, noting that the IMF and the WBG have played a major role in supporting the continent in the face of this pandemic crisis.
To address these crises, Kaberuka said he was in favor of encouraging the cultivation of wheat, taking advantage of the enormous agricultural potential of the continent, which remains untapped, and relying on the fertilizer industry, as developed by Morocco to develop this sector.