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Vol 4 (AAC) No 1

Published 1st November 2010

Stalemate in Seoul

The economic and currency quarrels of the big powers overshadowed President Lee’s efforts to commit the G-20 to stronger development policies

African countries, like most states at the Group of 20 summit in Seoul on 12-13 November, saw their core concerns about growing protectionism and investment flows overshadowed by the stand-off between China and the United States on trade imbalances and relative valuations of the US dollar and China’s renminbi. Given the growing economic ties with South Korea, African leaders had high hopes that President Lee Myung-bak’s pledge to make development issues the centre of G-20 concerns would mark a shift in international policy. The President has argued for a reorientation of aid and strategy. South African President Jacob Zuma, Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika (Chairman of the African Union) and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi (New Programme for African Development Chairman) led Africa’s delegation to the summit.

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