Saturday, September 23, 2023
CommentaryAfrica must urgently invest in economic recovery, Finance Ministers urge

Africa must urgently invest in economic recovery, Finance Ministers urge

Africa should deploy innovative resource mobilization and accelerate economic recovery from multiple crises which have eroded two decades of development gains and increased poverty, Ministers of Finance have urged.

In a Ministerial Statement adopted at the 55th session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development, in Addis Ababa, ministers reiterated the urgency of transforming Africa’s economies and driving industrialization. They underscored the need to expedite economic recovery in Africa, which is likely to miss many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and climate change will hinder Africa’s efforts to achieve the SDGs and Agenda 2063, the ministers said the triple crises have disrupted food and energy markets, exacerbated food insecurity and caused high inflation rates which have pushed millions of Africans into poverty and economic hardship.

Africa needs to invest approximately USD 66 billion in its health systems and health infrastructure. Furthermore, financing to close infrastructure deficits amounts to between USD 137 billion and USD 177 billion by 2025.

In addition, the ministers recognized that meeting SDG targets to eradicate extreme poverty and reduce inequality within seven years, in line with the 2030 Agenda, is becoming increasingly unlikely. Poverty and inequality in Africa will therefore pose high risks to prosperity, peace and security, and to the social contract.

- Advertisement -

They acknowledged the need to stimulate economic recovery and protect vulnerable populations against soaring inflation, which was forecast to reach 12.4 percent in Africa in 2023. Rising interest rates and the tightening of monetary policy by central banks to combat inflation have contributed to the worsening of the already limited fiscal space, the minister’s statement said.

The Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will increase intra-African trade in agrifood, services, industry, energy, and mining while attracting cross-border investments, the ministers noted in the statement calling on the ECA to support the continent with strategic thinking and new perspectives achieve prosperity by 2030 and realize the objectives of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.

ECA Acting Executive Secretary, Antonio Pedro, in closing the conference, said in order to foster recovery and transformation in Africa, the continent should prioritize skills enhancement, industrialization and economic diversification, infrastructure development, intra-Africa trade, and innovative financing.

“We have the mandate to deliver on our promise of shared prosperity to the people of Africa,” Pedro said, adding that sustainable solutions must be developed by Africa and partnership and collaborations were key to a transformed Africa.

(Economic Commission for Africa)


- Advertisement -



More like this

Tigray officials demand redesigned transitional justice model

Officials at the Tigray Interim Administration (TIA) reject the...

Controversial property tax proposes selective exemptions

Controversial property tax draft exempts religious institutions and small residences, with eligibility determined by the Finance Ministry based on services rendered. Stakeholders will gather on September 25 to deliberate upon the implications of the draft proclamation.

Yayu Fertilizer transferring reaches 85% after years of delay

Transferring of the long-stalled Yayu fertilizer project, originally awarded to MetEC, has finally made progress, reaching 85% completion. Despite challenges, the transfer to the Chemical Industry Corporation (CIC) is underway. However, the retrieval of 25 containers and compensation for displaced farmers remain unresolved issues, demanding prompt attention.

Nigeria’s leadership transition stalls Ethiopian airlines’ ambitious partnership

With a proven track record of successful collaborations across the continent, Ethiopian Airlines Group eagerly awaits the nod from Nigeria's new government to advance its partnership with Nigerian Air, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to uplifting Africa's aviation sector.