'help africa weather economic crisis'

The developed world must honour its commitment to helping Africa weather the global economic crisis, former president Thabo Mbeki said yesterday.

The developed world must honour its commitment to helping Africa weather the global economic crisis, former president Thabo Mbeki said yesterday.

"Past experience confirms that in many instances it is much easier to make commitments to support the African development process than to honour such undertakings," Mbeki said in an address at the SA Property Owners Association convention in Durban.

"However, so grave is the current crisis that Africa cannot afford such a betrayal of trust."

The G20 and various financial institutions had committed resources to help Africa weather the storm, he said.

"If anyone among us had any illusions about how the global crisis might affect us, these would surely have been shattered by the GDP figures for the first quarter of 2009 issued by Statistics SA last week," Mbeki said, referring to the announcement that South Africa had entered its first recession in 17 years.

He said the consequences include a decrease in demand for African exports, a drop in tourism, decreased remittances, a slump in foreign direct investment, a reduction of trade finance and a decrease in tax revenues as economies contracted. - Sapa

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