Live from Tanzania

Krupa from WHYS and myself are at the Bank of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam. The IMF conference has just got underway. We’re in this press room tucked away from the VIPs at the back of the building. Nice coffee.

Krupa in the press room at the Bank of Tanzania conference centre.

Krupa in the press room at the Bank of Tanzania conference centre.

  • 09:25 We’re being treated to a two minute video — Africa in change.
  • 09:28 Tanzania’s finance minister now doing his introduction, he’s bigging up Tanzania as you might expect.
  • 09:32 We’re getting a lot of figures and some good soundbites: “Africa must maintain a momentum”
  • 09:37 “We’re pleased all the media are here” . . . it’s nice to be noticed
  • 09:39 I like the language “Mr Strauss-Kahn will now address this august gallery”
  • 09:40 Mr Dominique Strauss-Kahn: “I hope we will not shy away from discussing the more difficult tests Africa faces” A note to journalists worldwide
  • 09:41 DSK: “The IMF expects global growth to be zero this year” A gloomy forecast and a warning for Africa: “It [the crisis] is coming and its path will be severe”
  • 09:45 DSK “Tanzania provides a good example of Africa’s success” Always flatter your hosts . . .
  • 09:47 DSK: “Remittances are expected to fold”. This is a serious topic we will be exploring on World Have Your Say tonight
  • 09:51 DSK “I cannot accept we will not be able to find hundreds of millions for African countries . . . $75bn by 2015. Donors must act now.”
  • 09:58 DSK is wrapping up quoting from the father of Tanzania Julius Nyrere : “It is in the process of deciding for himself what is development . . . that man develops himself. . . . He certainly cannot be developed by others.”
  • 10:01 President Kikwete of Tanzania now on stage . . .
  • 10:04 President Kikwete: “Africa needs the IMF and the IMF needs Africa” There are many who would disagree with this.
  • 10:06 President Kikwete: “We need to send a clear message to the G20 meeting in London next month . . .” You can get more on the upcoming G20 meet here.
  • 10:15 President Kikwete has some worrying stats: “The price of cotton has dropped from $0.82 per pound in 2008 to $0.45 per pound at the moment.” If you work with cotton this is indeed sobering. The same is happening with coffee and many other commodities.
President Kikwete on screen at the Bank of Tanzania conference centre.

President Kikwete on screen at the Bank of Tanzania conference centre.

  • 10:24 President Kikwete has some barbed comments: “If an African country was responsible for the current criss the IMF would have jumped on us. Without invitation, with conditionalities and road maps [APPLAUSE!!]”
  • 10:31 President Kikwete is finishing up, “May I wish you very fruitful deliberations”
Paul Coletti blogging the IMF conference in Dar es Salaam.
Paul Coletti blogging the IMF conference in Dar es Salaam.
  • 10:40 We’ve a french-speaking minister — Paul-Antoine Bohoun Bouabre from the Cote d’Ivoire — on stage now and he’s lost his notes . . . “Excusez-moi” He’s had to finish early . . . oops!
  • 10:46 Up next it’s the keynote speaker . . Mr Kofi Annan . . .
  • 10:47 Kofi is not bothering with pleasantries: “We could be facing the economic equivalent of a tsunami.”
  • 10:50 Kofi is predicting . . . “a perfect storm of insecurity, instability and misery.” This phrase, perfect storm, is now well and truly mainstream.
  • 10:53 Kofi: “There is no point in feeling sorry for ourselves.”
Kofi Annan.

Kofi Annan.

  • 10:59 Kofi’s being frank: “Many developing countries have not been happy with the role of the IMF”
  • 11:00 Kofi is talking about “rejigging”, he says, “The IMF needs to develop a new lending model.”
  • 11:03 Kofi sees some light in the gloom: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape the financial architecture.”
  • 11:05 That’s it for the main speakers.


3 Responses to “Live from Tanzania”
  1. Hasnein says:

    Having followed this blog this morning; I can only concede to the fact that Kofi Annan, was the only individual looking to make something out of this financial crisis. It is fair to say developing countries will significantly suffer from this crisis, but to some extent this is their moment – to reshape the financial architecture, to reap economic efficieny and lose the hakuna matata attitude – reinvigorate with an attitude beyond donor aid, diversify, and take the greatest of opportunities to develop.

    • Ali G says:

      This is in terresting i love it how you put it by the way i would like to congratulate all the speakers and the leaders e.g Pres. J.K.Kikwete.God bless us,help us come out of this disaster.
      From Northern Tanzania Kilimajaro Kifula Ugweno (Shuleni).

  2. william agbemenya says:

    Hello, I believe this summit will not be another talk shop for ‘the big boys to exploit the small boys’
    I’m therefore looking forward for a pragmatic steps taken to solve this problem.

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