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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Poverty Summit

LIBREVILLE, Gabon -- Leaders of more than 30 heavily indebted African nations converged Tuesday on Gabon's capital for a summit with officials who control lending institutions' purse strings.

The participants, including 20 heads of state, three prime ministers and executives of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and African Development Bank, were expected to draft new policies aimed at reducing poverty and ensuring economic growth in the world's poorest region, summit organizers said.

Tuesday's summit follows a lengthy campaign by African nations to win debt relief from Western countries amounting to billions of dollars. Africans have accused the West of imposing unfair economic reforms and debt-servicing agreements on their countries, which have no hope of ever repaying staggering loans. The lenders have in turn blamed African leaders for squandering foreign aid money.

All of the world's 15 poorest countries are in Africa.