Friday, November 21, 2008

Opinion piece on Africa and the global financial crisis

Just a quick post to flag (with hat tip to Opinio Juris) a short opinion essay by Daniel Bradlow - a law professor at the American University Washington College of Law, and one of the chairs/discussants in our sessions at the GAL IV Seminar in Viterbo in June of this year - on what approach African countries should adopt towards the global financial crisis and the international efforts to resolve it. Professor Bradlow suggests four main issues that should be confronted; and his familiarity with the emerging field of global administrative law comes through clearly in the following:

Enable African countries to engage in the institutional reform process: There's general agreement that the institutions of global financial governance, including the IMF, World Bank, and the Financial Stability Forum, need to be reformed. However, less attention is being paid to making the reform process itself transparent and participatory. Given the G20's central role in this process, it needs decision-making procedures that are responsive to the concerns of non-G20 stakeholders in its decisions. Thus, Africa should advocate for the creation of formal channels through which they can submit position papers and voice their concerns to the participants in the G20. They should also call for the G20 to establish a "notice and comment" period prior to all actions and decisions that are likely to have a substantial impact on the poor. This will ensure the views of all interested stakeholders on the proposed action or decision are considered in the G20 decision-making process. In addition, Africa should create regional institutions that focus more specifically on African concerns, and can interact with global institutions and other regional institutions to promote African interests. The African Union's efforts to create an African Monetary Fund and an African Investment Bank are noteworthy in this regard.

The entire piece can be found here, and contains a number of interesting insights from the financing development perspective, amongst other things; it's well worth a read.

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