By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has advocated for sustainable and inclusive growth for Africa while speaking at a high level G20 seminar of finance ministers in Paris, France Thursday night.
At the G20 Summit, the finance ministers met to discuss current challenges to the international financial architecture and ways of combating macroeconomic volatility.
The high-level seminar also assessed volatility in capital flows and their impact on global economic conditions.
Speaking at the opening plenary session alongside Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF; François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Banque de France; Valdis Dombrovkis, Vice President of the European Commission and Wolfgang Schauble, Minister of Finance, Germany, Adeosun acknowledged the progress that had been made in the international financial architecture since the 2008 global financial crisis.
She noted that the first line of defence was sound macroeconomic policies, which Africa in general and Nigeria specifically, is trying to tackle with a series of fiscal housekeeping initiatives.
The Minister said that there had been excessive focus on GDP as a measure of economic progress, which often concealed vulnerabilities, particularly inequalities.
She called for a more holistic measure of economic growth.
She highlighted the risks associated with international capital flows and warned that African economies needed to be insulated from the disruptive effects of volatile short term portfolio flows.
Africa can build the necessary resilience, she said, but there must be more careful management of capital flows and a move towards long term and sustainable growth.
Adeosun said that an essential component of more careful management of capital flows was to build better economic mapping and surveillance to manage risks and spill-overs, which she said should be a priority for G20 Finance Ministers.
She called for more understanding and flexibility for Africa to grow and protect key markets, as developed countries had done while at Africa’s current stage of development.
The minister highlighted the need for long term partnerships and foreign direct investment into African economies to deliver the necessary investment, particularly in infrastructure, to unlock sustainable growth.