Songwe: Transition to the Africa we want is possible if we make the right choices

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 08, 2019 (ECA) – The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Friday assured member States that it will continue to work hard with its partners in supporting the continent’s efforts to accelerate development and growth.

ECA Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, who was among a host of African luminaries and partners at the launch of the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD’s (AUDA-NEPAD) new report; Africa’s path to 2063: Choice in the face of great transformations, said as the continent’s premier think tank, the ECA was up to the task and ‘will continue to work with the African Union and others to ensure that the transition to an Africa we want becomes possible’.

She lauded AUDA-NEPAD for the report she said will provide a pathway to prosperity for Africa as envisioned in the continent’s 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063.

“I see this report as a toolkit for where we want to go with Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030,” said Ms. Songwe, adding it was also a reminder of the crucial choices Africa’s leaders should take if the continent is to accelerate growth and development.

While lending ECA’s support to the continent, the ECA Chief also made a clarion call for action when it comes to poverty alleviation, digital technology, governance, corruption and policy issues.

“The future Africa wants will be determined by how well she is governed. The prosperous continent that we all want will not materialize if we do not have the right governance setting to make the right decisions for in the end it is a transparent and accountable leadership that decides the future. Governance remains at the heart of it all,” said Ms. Songwe.

She continued: “We do not know what Africa will look like in 2063 but we do know what we do not want it to look like. We need to ensure that we take paths that will guarantee that we learn from the past and from the presence and ensure we get to the prosperity that we want.”

Ms. Songwe implored the continent to revisit some of its policies and come up with ones that will ensure inclusive growth.

“If we continue with the inequalities we have in many of our countries then we will not be able to achieve Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 aspirations,” she said.

To fully maximize on opportunities in digital identification, digital trade and digital economy, there’s a lot Africa can do, Ms. Songwe said as she explained what the ECA and its partners are doing through its centre of excellence for digital ID, digital trade and digital economy.

“Africa should move from being takers of technology and move towards being creators and developers. That way we can grow, create jobs and reduce poverty. All we have to ensure is that our governance and policies work well,” she said, adding a diversified education was the route to a diversified African economy.

Rwanda’s Foreign Minister, Richard Sezibera, who also witnessed the launch, implored African leaders to implement decisions agreed on as the first step towards moving the continent to prosperity.

AUDA-NEPAD CEO, Ibrahim Mayaki said strengthening analysis and data planning capacity was critical for Africa's path to 2063.

AUDA-NEPAD and the Pardee Center hope the study, which gives unique analytical insights with regard to the implications - positive or negative - these transitions may or are already having on Africa’s Agenda 2063 advances, will stimulate, inform and guide critical analysis and determination of national pathways towards prosperity.

Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826