Look inward and be innovative, African states told

Addis Ababa, 26 March 2015 (ECA – AUC) - Financing development must be African driven, delegates at  the Joint Annual Meetings of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration and the ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development currently taking place in Addis Ababa, were advised.

Discussing the AUC Agenda 2063, focusing on planning, mobilising and financing for development, delegates reflected on the means of implementation and agreed that mobilising domestic resources instead of reliance on external donors was the surest course for Africa to take. To finance infrastructure, agriculture; regional integration; manufacturing; health and education, Africans, counselled panellists, have to look in their coffers.

Africans have to take charge of their own development agenda and come up with innovative strategies in the changed global context as evidenced by financial crises, sluggish economic growth and donor fatigue said Mr. Mandla Madonsela, Director of Strategic Planning at the AUC.

Chairing the session, Dr. Hamisi H. Mwinyimvua, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance of Tanzania, reminded those present that Agenda 2063 aspires to continental prosperity, integration, good governance, security, people-driven development and a strong cultural identity. However, panellists warned these aspirations will not amount to much without African resources to finance them.

Suggestions to mobilise funds internally in Africa include expanding of the tax base; modifying the role of central banks; improving tax collection; private and public collaboration; optimizing collection of savings; varying sources of economies; developing value chains and encouraging small and medium enterprise development.

Agenda 2063 also highlights the importance of capable and democratic developmental states and institutions; people’s ownership of the process; accountable leadership; responsive institutions, changed attitudes and a Pan African perspective as some of the ingredients required for Africa’s transformation.

Delegates were unanimous it is every African state’s responsibility to tackle development challenges but recognised mobilising domestic financial resources is a matter of political will. Member states cited capacity to implement this ambitious plan as a concern. Barriers and measures to take towards regional integration were also major considerations.

Representatives also stated implementation must have a proper follow-up with strong monitoring and evaluation elements included in the process. A delegate noted that without institutional reforms, any solution to development challenges will fail. Data and planning skills needed for implementation of Agenda 2063 also have to be identified.

The session pinpointed conflict; economic inequality, illicit financial flows from Africa, poor management of ecological diversities; terrorism and religious extremism; failure to harness youth; an increase in disease burden and climate change problems as the major risks for implementation of Agenda 2063.

Jointly issued by the ECA and the AUC