Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 18, 2021 (ECA) - African countries are looking for inventive ways and means to fill the annual development-financing gap of US$92.8 billion to implement the 2030 Agenda, achieve Agenda 2063, and actualize the Paris Agreement as well as respond to the COVID-19 crisis whilst tackling the growing levels of inequality.
This was the special message that Nassim Oulmane, Chief of Green and Blue Economy Section Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management Division at the ECA, gave to delegates attending the meeting of experts of the 53rd Conference of Ministers (COM) in Addis Ababa Thursday.
Mr. Oulmane, who was presenting the report on the fifth and sixth sessions of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD), noted that Africa is not on track to achieve most of the sustainable development goals given the current pace of implementation. His report reiterated the call on member States to strengthen regional and national innovation hubs and advance science, technology and innovation (STI).
According to the ECA expert, the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, alongside climate change effects, has undermined development progress and the continent’s ability to finance the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the realization of Agenda 2063.
“Climate change is an existential threat,” Mr. Oulmane said. He went on to report that ARFSD7 resolved that raised ambitions, urgency and redoubled efforts in implementing the Paris Agreement alongside full, effective and timely implementation of the SDGs remained the best pathways to achieving shared prosperity, responding to COVID-19 and tackling climate change. To this end, a key resolution of the ARFSD affirmed that it was crucial to urgently strengthen systems to improve collection, availability, accessibility, timeliness and use of quality and disaggregated data and statistics to strengthen monitoring and reporting on the two development agendas in the context of the Decade of Action and COVID-19.
Mr. Oulmane was addressing the high-level COM2021 delegates in the wake of the just concluded ARFSD7 held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.
Another key resolution in his report urged African Member States to leverage the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to support increased production, create jobs, strengthen regional value chains and develop resilience to external shocks and future crises.
The report notes that the hosting of ARFSD conferences had engendered strong collaboration and cemented relations between the ECA, host Governments of Morocco in 2019, Zimbabwe in 2020, Republic of Congo in 2021, the African Union Commission (AUC), African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations System.
African Member States should leverage the Agreement establishing the AfCFTA.
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