Africa must fund own development under Agenda 2063; rely less on external funding
African ministers also endorsed recommendations of the final report of the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows in Africa and called upon the international community to complement Africa’s efforts to track, stop and repatriate illicit financial flows. (Image: AU)
Africa must fund its own development, of which, plugging illicit financial flows forms an important part, noted the African Union (AU) and Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) at a joint meeting last week.
The ministers attending the joint meeting also called for a critical role of central banks in boosting the continent’s transformation agenda through financing.
“Adequate and predictable financing is indispensible for the successful implementation of development plans and strategies such as Agenda 2063.”
This was expressly contained in the ministerial statement of the Eighth Joint annual meetings of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee of Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration and the Economic Commission for Africa Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development meeting held in Addis Ababa from 30-31 March.
“While official development assistance has been helpful, it is a fragile platform on which to base a structural transformation agenda,” read the statement, calling for domestic mobilization of funds through taxes, sovereign and pension funds and other financing mechanisms.
In this context, AU Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said Agenda 2063 was different from previous strategies that relied on external support to implement.
“If you look at the different plans including NEPAD, the plan was that we trooped from capital to capital of G8 countries looking for money which never came. But with Agenda 2063, we are saying, the mainstay of its implementation should be our own resources and then attract investment from outside,” said the AU Chairperson, during a closing press conference.
The ministers endorsed the document, ‘Financing for Development – Africa’s perspectives’ and called upon African negotiators to use the outcomes of the regional consultations as inputs in negotiating the outcome document of the third International Conference on Financing for Development.
Besides, the ministers also endorsed recommendations of the final report of the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows in Africa and called upon the international community to complement Africa’s efforts to track, stop and repatriate illicit financial flows.
Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Ethiopia, Mr. Sufian Ahmed said that in the case of his country, the objectives and the content of the national plan and those of the agenda 2063 are more or less similar.
“It is the ultimate responsibility of each African country to mobilize internal resources to implement the national plans and agenda 2063 too. For Ethiopia, we have already said that it is ultimately the domestic resources that matter though we might also get other resources,” he noted.
Minister of Planning and Administrative Reform of Egypt, Mr. Ashraf al-Araby said that what is really more important and even more difficult is to have an action plan to implement this vision at the national level.
“In Egypt, we are working to have a detailed plan for this strategy,” he said. “I can reassure our commitment to support Agenda 2063 and to work closely under the umbrella of the African Union to achieve the targets,” he stated.
The chairperson of “Femmes Africa Solidarité,” Ms. Bineta Diop affirmed that there is a need to disseminate and translate the vision in local languages to make sure that ordinary citizens of understand its development.
“The agenda 2063 states that the development of Africa will not happen if we don’t use the women and the young people’s potential. This can only be done through mobilizing communities,” she said adding that the youth should be the implementers, the movers and the shakers of the agenda 2063.
International support for Agenda 2063 is also not lacking, even as Africa takes up the challenge to fund its own development as a self-motivated objective. Both the IMF and the UN have pledged their support to help Africa achieve its destiny.
The Director of the Africa Department at the International Monetary Fund, Ms. Antoinette Sayeh said that the Fund could do a lot by way of technical assistance, helping to build the capacity of countries as that is critical.
Speaking on behalf of the United Nations, Mr. Maged Abdelaziz, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Africa also committed that the UN will continue to support most of the projects in the 2063 Agenda.
The 2015 Conference of Ministers took place from 25-31 March 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Over 2000 delegates attended the conference, which also hosted some 25 side events.
Source: ECA and AU joint press release