Africa should have a greater presence in the Group of 20 nations rather than be largely excluded and simply told how to run their economies, Botswana's central bank governor said on Thursday.
South Africa is the only African member of the G20, which groups G7 industrialised nations together with major emerging economies such as China, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The representation of Africa in the G20 is almost non-existent. We don't just want to be told what to do, we want to participate, central bank chief Lina Mohohlo said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
South Africa is not there to represent the continent. It's not fair to them (South Africa) and it's not their mandate. You need to have more than one country, she said.
Resource-rich Africa, which boasts some of the world's fastest-growing economies, has become a focus for investors looking for high returns over a longer time frame.
The IMF (International Monetary Fund) is also lagging behind, said Mohohlo. I'm almost sure the problems of Africa will not reach the board of the IMF.
At their meeting in October, G20 finance ministers conceded the quickening shift in economic power away from Western industrial nations by striking a surprise deal to give emerging nations a bigger voice in the IMF.
Mohohlo also said higher food inflation squeezes the poor -- the predominant portion of Africa's population.
Botswana saw inflation quicken to 7.4 percent last month, above the central bank's medium-term objective of 3-6 percent.
Still, the central bank cut the bank rate by 50 basis points to 9.5 percent in December, citing sluggish global growth as a risk to its economy, along with weak local demand.
Like in many other emerging countries, Botswana's central bank is caught in a policy dilemma: if it does nothing, inflation will rise, while if it raises borrowing costs, the economy will slow down.
One of the major risks is that if we move forward with monetary tightening to contain inflation, that will be a detriment to growth, Mohohlo said.