The African Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank met in Cotonou, Benin, on 4 and 5 August 2016 for the African Caucus themed on “Scaling up Bretton Woods Institutions Support to address shocks, boost growth and enhance transformation in Africa”.
The exercise was chaired by His Excellency Abdoulaye BIO TCHANE, Beninese Minister of State for Planning and Development, and culminated in the adoption of the Cotonou Declaration.
Amongst other outcomes contained in the Declaration, the African Governors recognised that “the conduct of development policies on the continent prove to be more challenging due to declining commodity prices, tighter financial conditions on capital markets and the multiplicity of shocks of non-economic sources mainly security issues (terrorism) and climate change”.
They noted that that to support these shocks, it was necessary to promote diversity, inclusive growth, and strengthening their regional economies. They undertook to continue to further work for more transparent governance while implementing the public policies of development in order to preserve and strengthened the progress made by African economies over the past decade.
Governors called on the Bretton Woods institutions to support the structural transformation of African economies, including massive investment at concessional rates in key sectors. To this end, they recommended a new approach and instruments adapted to the real needs of the continent and a debt management framework which is more flexible. Furthermore, they call on a solid IDA18 reconstitution.
Governors sought customised technical assistance to reinforce capacity building from the Bretton Woods institutions to make African economies more resilient to external shocks, given that public development support should be a leverage to increase the domestic potential of our countries.
They called on the Bretton Woods institutions to fulfil their commitments to diversity and the representation of the African continent inside their key decision entities.