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African Development to Remain Priority for G20

AfDB25 November 2011: Africa's development will remain a high priority for the Group of 20 (G20) as Mexico assumes the Presidency from France, according to comments by France's Vice Sherpa to the G20 Development Working Group. He said the focus will be on infrastructure development, to increase economic growth and contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and to ensure continued sustainable development.

Speaking to the African Development Bank's (AfDB) Board of Directors on 23 November 2011, in Tunis, Tunisia, regarding the outcome of the G20 Leaders Summit held in Cannes, France, from 3-4 November 2011, Rémy Rioux, France's Ministry of Economy Finance and Industry, said future G20 discussions, consultations and meetings will seek to advance Africa's development priorities.

Mexico will take over the G20 Presidency on 1 December 2011.

Rioux noted that the Cannes Declaration cites many African initiatives and organizations. Specifically, it calls for investment in infrastructure with an emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa, and welcomes initiatives such as the Economic Community of Western African States' (ECOWAS) efforts to establish a targeted regional emergency food reserve system, as well as the New Partnership for African Development's (NEPAD) initiative to incorporate risk management into agricultural policies. It also calls for the preparation and launch of the Sokoni interactive platform for financing African infrastructure projects.

Rioux also highlighted progress achieved during France's Presidency of the G20, such as the Inga dam hydropower project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Highlighting the Cannes Action Plan for Growth and Jobs, which calls for increased infrastructure investment to enhance competition and support the reduction of trade and investment barriers to assist in achieving the MDGs, Rioux said that both France and the Republic of Korea were committed to ensuring a strong emphasis on removing "infrastructure bottlenecks." [AfDB Press Release] [Cannes Summit Final Declaration: "Building Our Common Future: Renewed collective action for the benefit of all"] [Cannes Action Plan for Growth and Jobs]