Africa bank warns gov'ts: learn from uprisings

AP News
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Posted: Mar 28, 2011 11:54 AM
Africa bank warns gov'ts: learn from uprisings

The head of the African Development Bank on Monday warned African nations to heed the lessons from uprisings in North Africa by being more inclusive and reaching out to youth and the poor.

Bank President Donald Kaberuka said during a meeting of African finance ministers in Ethiopia's capital that countries should govern for all, not just for some.

"We all know very well (economic) growth that is not inclusive, that leaves some behind, as we can see from North Africa, is neither economically, nor politically, sustainable and will only lead to frustrations and social explosion," he said.

Kaberuka said the bank has committed nearly $7 billion in North Africa but that growth was uneven and government programs failed to reach the poor. He also blamed an imbalance in the labor market for the high unemployment and underemployment that provoked recent uprisings.

"The youth of North Africa has now spoken," he said.

He added, "The first responsibility of any developmental state is therefore to attempt to meet those aspirations _ and you can see they have a lot to do with economic welfare, economic opportunities _ but they go beyond bread and butter."