Fostering Recovery, Transformation Vital to Reduce Inequalities, Vulnerabilities in Africa

Africa needs to foster recovery and transformation to reduce inequalities and vulnerabilities in the continent exacerbated by various problems, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Acting Executive Secretary, Antonio M.A. Pedro said.

The fifty-fifth session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development kicked off today in Addis Ababa.

The aim of the two days meeting is to renew focus and action on reducing poverty, inequality and other factors that leave the African population continuously vulnerable to these scourges.

Speaking at the event, UNECA Acting Secretary, Antonio M.A. Pedro said Africa’s growth is rebounding at 4.1 percent as inflation has been reduced to 12 percent so far.

However, the continent needs double-digit growth rates to achieve breakthroughs to promote a new cycle of sustainable growth, arrange regulated business and innovation climate, he said.

This will require paying detailed attention to ensuring that a strong macroeconomic foundation is in place to allow for structural transformation, he added.

We also need to push for reform of the global financial architecture to unlock long term financing, green jobs, pro poor policies, tax mechanism for carbon, and illicit financial flows, he elaborated.

"Africa must risk investment on the continent for both domestic and foreign investors to support the immense efforts that are required to develop a credible pipeline of bankable projects with limited fiscal space."

Every dollar spent must generate maximum socio-economic impacts and co-benefits that go beyond GDP methods and profit maximization, and no one should be left behind, the acting Executive Secretary noted.

Speaking on his part, the Ethiopian Finance Minister Ahmed Shide said, until 2019 Africa was home to the world’s fastest growing economies.

According to him, the growth was fueled partly by favorable terms of trade, better macroeconomic management and growth investment.

"Most African economies have been doing so well in the past few decades that we were on track to meet most of the targets in SDG until multiple global and internal shocks threatened to unravel the several years of socio-economic gains."

However, the advent of COVID-19 along with the war in Ukraine and the vagaries of climate change has pushed back Africa’s two decades of economic growth, he stated.

"Now millions of Africans have been pushed in to poverty, while millions more are at risk of falling into extreme poverty due to disruption in the global economy precipitated by the war in Ukraine and the frequency of weather caused by climate change."

The immediate and long term consequences of COVID-19 and the global economic and security crisis are a wake-up call for Africa to rethink its development paradigm, he said, adding seeking a home-grown solution is vital before the crisis engulf the continent.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency