Niamey, 8 February 2024 (ECA) – The Sub-Regional Office for West Africa of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA/ SRO-WA), is organizing virtually on February 13th a high-level political dialogue in prelude of the 56th Session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finances, Planning and Economic Development of ECA (COM2024).
This meeting will be held in a context where West African countries are facing significant macroeconomic and financial challenges and a continued shrinking of their fiscal space. Indeed, 6 of the 15 countries in the sub-region, namely Capo Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Sierra Leone have a debt rate exceeding more than 70% which is the convergence criterion at the ECOWAS level in terms of public debt ratio (IMF, 2023).
The issue of debt burden in West African countries also poses significant challenges to their economic stability and development. Due to continued investments in public infrastructure in a context of limited domestic resource mobilization, budget deficits in West Africa reached on average 3.6% of GDP over the period 2014 to 2020, which was lower than the continental average of 5.4%. The region has seen an increase in the average budget deficit, reaching 5.6% in 2021 and 2022 (AfDB, 2023).
In such a context, investing in the transition to resilient green economies requires the mobilization of innovative financing without exacerbating the fragility of the financial situation of these countries.
Placed under the theme "Financing the transition towards inclusive green economies: imperatives, challenges and opportunities for West African countries", this high-level political dialogue aims to stimulate reflections on West African countries’ specific challenges, imperatives, and financial opportunities to transit to green economies.
The meeting will bring together around a hundred senior officials from Governments, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Resident Coordinators of the United Nations system and United Nations country teams, representatives of the private sector, civil society, academia and members of the Economic Journalists Network for West Africa.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Tahirou Gouro