Addis Ababa, 23 March 2015 (ECA) – Africa must speak with one voice when deciding its priorities for financing of development in the continent, urged Mr. Abdalla Hamdok, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa at the opening of the Regional Consultation towards the Third International Conference of Financing for Development held in Addis Ababa on 23 March 2015.
Speaking to delegates from government, inter-governmental agencies, civil society, financial institutions, academia and think tanks, Mr. Hamdok highlighted the importance of “African countries to organise themselves properly, articulate their interests and priorities well.” The consultation attended by Ethiopia’s State Minister for Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Abraham Tekeste and the African Union Commission’s Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Mr. Anthony Maruping, is one of several discussions to determine priorities for financing of development in Africa and to devise strategies focusing on sustainable sources and means of funding. The ECA wants to ensure diverse views from the continent are understood, noted and represented. The meetings are preparation for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development to be held, for the first time in Africa, in Addis Ababa from 13th to 16th July 2015.
Mr Hamdok said he was “comforted that African countries and their leadership have become increasingly conscious of the imperative of acting in concert in the international arena.” Since January 2014, with the adoption of the Common African Position on post-2015 development, African regions have been consulting with various actors to determine the integration of development priorities of each region for the next 15 years.
Since the implementation of ideas from the Monterrrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration, a lot has changed in the financial markets; in development challenges and in mobilisation of financial resources. An agreed set of priorities needs to meet these challenges as well as perform in the changed financial and development markets. African leaders are, according to Mr Hamdok, aware that realisation of long-term development “depends on financial and physical resources as well as robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.”
“Africa has been the most organised region in this process of redefining development goals and their financing”, Mr Hamdok noted whilst also highlighting the importance of sound policies and reliable sustainable financial environment to transform development into meaningful action.
Using data collected since the establishment of the Monterrey Consensus in 2002 and expert analysis, those meeting discussed development finance priorities and challenges for Africa in the context of structural transformation. The Monterrey Consensus commits to a set of guiding actions considered instrumental in improving the mobilisation and retention of financial resources to enable countries to eradicate poverty, achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development, and meet the more specific goals set forth in the Millennium Development Goals.
The July Conference will convene high-level political representatives, including Heads of State and Government, as well as all relevant institutional stakeholders, non-governmental organizations and private sector entities to discuss, deliberate and negotiate a development finance framework which will constitute an important contribution to and support the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.
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