African campaigners demand reform of 'unjust' global financial system

Africa is being crippled by costly loans and unfair interest rates, campaigners in Nairobi warned at a key summit this week as they demanded a rebalance of global financing.

"Africa is at a very crucial moment of its development," said Desire Assogbavi, of the ONE campaign, a global NGO dedicated to fighting poverty and inequality.

Assogbavi was in Nairobi for the annual meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB), which estimates the continent's average economic growth in 2023 fell to 3.1 percent – down from 4.1 percent the year before.

High food and energy prices were contributing factors, as were political instability and climate shocks. Despite this Africa's bank, which turns 60 this year, expects growth to starting picking up from 2024.

Campaigners like Assogbavi say that in order for this to happen, lending structures need to be updated so that African economies have access to less costly investment and loans.

Lending bodies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary fund were created 80 years ago, with the post-WWII Bretton Woods agreement, at a time when "most African countries did not even exist", he told RFI.

The AfDB, created in 1963, and its Africa Development Fund, operational since 1974, are seen as more understanding of the needs of African economies.

"The continent should tape on all options to finance its development, including the AfDB’s fund," Assogbavi added.

Read more on RFI English

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