Kigali, 25 January 2024 (ECA) - The Office for Eastern Africa of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) held a policy Dialogue on 25 January 2024 to discuss the challenges and opportunities of financing the transition to inclusive green economies in Africa. The webinar was part of the preparatory activities for the upcoming Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, which will take place in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe from 28 February to 5 March 2024.
The online dialogue was chaired by Ms. Mama Keita, the Director of ECA in Eastern Africa who stressed the importance of having a sub-regional dialogue and bringing the ideas, proposals and suggestions related to financing the transition to inclusive green economies to the continental level.
She stressed that the objective of the policy dialogue is to identify the urgent issues, solutions and priorities in the sub-region and to formulate recommendations before the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development.
Ms Keita noted that time is running out for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and that most of the countries in the region are not on track. She said that according to estimates, Africa requires about 1.6 trillion U.S. dollars to achieve the SDGs.
The participants discussed the macroeconomic and social developments in Eastern Africa, highlighting the challenges facing the region, especially the high debt burden and the inflationary pressures that emerged in 2023.
“9 of the 14 countries in Eastern Africa are still classified by the World Bank as low income and Eastern and Central Africa are where the poorest African countries are concentrated” noted Mr Andrew Mold, ECA’s Economist, who emphasized to reverse the situation through the need to maintain high economic growth.
Mr Badri Narayanan Gopalakrishnan an affiliate faculty member and senior economist with the School of Environmental and Forestry Sciences, University of Washington-Seattle shed light on how governments could improve the prospect for financing transition toward a greener economy while addressing issues of climate change.
The discussion hinged on the effects of climate change, which are affecting agricultural production and livestock. They stressed how governments can improve the prospects for financing the transition to a greener economy through mobilizing domestic resources, enhancing tax administration, diversifying revenue sources and leveraging private sector investment.
The Fifty-sixth session of the Economic Commission for Africa Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development is scheduled for 28 February - 5 March 2024 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on the theme: Financing the transition to inclusive green economies in Africa: imperatives, opportunities and policy options.
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