Brown in talks with African leaders ahead of G20 summit

Brown in talks with African leaders ahead of G20 summit London  - African leaders urged British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Monday not to allow the global economic crisis to dilute the commitments made on spending to developing nations.

The African leaders, including the presidents of Liberia, Tanzania and Botswana and the prime ministers of Kenya and Ethiopia, had come to London to ensure that the continent's voice will be heard at the summit of G20 nations in London on April 2.

Brown told them it was important that the world's leading economies should respond to the challenge of meeting the United Nation's so-called Millennium Goals on eradicating poverty in Africa and other parts of the world.

"I want us to come out of this meeting not only with a determination that every continent - and that means Africa - has its fair share of support over the next few months," Brown said.

He cited British government figures which showed that an additional 100 million people could be thrust into poverty as a result of the global recession.

Brown said the agreement of G20 finance ministers last weekend to increase resources of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would help emerging and developing economies cope with the credit crunch.

However, the president of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, said Monday that the rich world should not allow the recession to undermine the goals - known as the Millennium Goals - set out at the meeting of G8 nations in Gleneagles, Scotland, in 2005.

They pledged to increase international aid by 50 billion dollars by 2010, with half the money going to Africa.

But even before the economic downturn struck there were concerns over whether the money would actually be delivered.

"It is not possible to stimulate the world economy while ignoring the millions of the poor in Africa, south Asia and other places," Kaberuka said Monday.

"The real stimulus will have to involve every country in the world. We think that the sums involved for the world to do so are a small proportion of what is being deployed right now to stimulate the world economy." (dpa)

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