Briefing from ROAPE Volume 26 Number 79
Africa, Asia & Anxieties about Globalisation
For a number of African finance ministers, October 1998 was a month of heavy travel. First came the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Washington, then a little more than a week later the Second Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-II). In Washington, the Asian financial crisis and its impact on the world economy was the major preoccupation, yet, as Finance Minister Cassim Chilumpha of Malawi later remarked, the discussions unfolded as if Africa scarcely existed. In Tokyo, by contrast, Africa took centre stage. Delegations came from virtually every African country - including 13 African heads of state or government - to discuss the continent's development prospects with Japanese and other Asian leaders, as well as with representatives from major Western donor governments and agencies.