African Ministers meet to discuss 21st century challenges
01 April 2008
The first session of the Joint Annual Meetings of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development is taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 31 March to 2 April 2008.
The conference will also mark the start of a yearlong commemoration of the Economic Commission for Africa’s 50th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, participants, including selected African Heads of State and Government and other eminent persons, will be invited to reflect on the theme of the Conference, ‘Meeting Africa’s New Challenges in the 21st Century’.
The conference will begin with an overview of recent economic and social developments in Africa which will include the state of the global economy, overall growth performance in Africa, trends in social development in Africa and the continents economic prospects for 2008.
Participants will go on to focus on issues such as poverty reduction, state capacity to promote and guide development, particularly in relation to providing adequate infrastructure and social services, rising oil prices and the global credit crisis.
Four high-level thematic debates will be held on; HIV: keeping the promise; Empowering the poor; Growth, employment and poverty; and Climate change and development.
UNAIDS Executive Director, Dr Peter Piot will lead the debate on HIV and highlight that in spite of efforts to address the epidemic in Africa, AIDS remains a significant challenge which is hampering efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Dr Piot will highlight ways in which the AIDS response can be stepped up in Africa and will outline some specific recommendations for sustainable financing.