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Africa Task Force Meeting, Pretoria 2009

July 9, 2009 - July 10, 2009

Agenda  30kb pdf
Meeting Report  100kb pdf

This fourth meeting of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue's Africa Task Force addressed the impact and implications of the global financial and economic crisis on Africa.  The immediate impact of the recession has been manifest in the continent's commodity prices, exports, and remittances. Participants expressed concern about the longer-term implications for the crisis on international aid budgets directed toward Africa. Bank bailouts in developing countries will restrict the fiscal space for aid funding for some time into the future

Africa is currently undergoing a major transformation from land abundance and labor scarcity to the opposite. Land tenure systems and agricultural technology need to adapt to this profound change that African agriculture is undergoing. Agricultural productivity remains well below the levels achieved in other regions, reflecting poor infrastructure as well as inadequacies of agricultural research and extension services. Participants also discussed the increasing evidence of climate change's effects on development within Africa. Each new assessment provides a more grim outlook with accelerating change and a narrowing of the window for actions before tipping points are reached. African agriculture is likely to be greatly affected by changes in temperatures and associated rainfall patterns.

Growth prospects have dimmed very considerably in the near-term for the continent. In the longer term the crisis has highlighted the need to pay attention to the issues of economic transformation and sustained, rapid growth that has been the focus of this task force.