Liberian Prez's Plea: Don't Let Global Crisis Kill African Gains

This mess is not of Africa's making
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 9, 2009 10:44 AM CDT
Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, center, is seen at an event in London, March 16, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Africa is in the midst of a great turnaround, with economies growing and democracy and human rights improving, Liberia’s president writes in the Washington Post. But progress is threatened by a global economic crisis it had no hand in creating. Some $50 billion in income could be lost as jobs and businesses disappear. “African economies need a boost to keep their progress on track,” Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says.

Several steps are needed to keep aid and trade alive on the continent, Johnson-Sirleaf writes. International financial resources should quickly be deployed with attention to “growth, jobs and safety-net programs”; partners should increase aid to Africa and minimize unnecessary bureaucracy; and protectionism should be resisted. Outside help has been crucial to Africa’s growth, and “the crisis—which Africa did nothing to cause—demands a strong response.”