Africa must strive to find innovative resources and accelerate economic recovery from multiple crises that have eroded two decades of development progress and increased poverty, finance ministers urged. In a ministerial declaration adopted during the 55th Session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Developmentin Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ministers reiterated the urgency of transforming African economies and boosting industrialization.
Ministers stressed the need to accelerate economic recovery in Africa as it risks missing many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and climate change will hamper Africa’s efforts to achieve the SDGs and Agenda 2063, the ministers said the triple crisis has disrupted food and energy markets, exacerbated food insecurity and caused high rates of inflation that plunged millions of Africans into poverty and economic hardship.
Africa needs to invest about $66 billion in its health systems and health infrastructure. Additionally, funding to address infrastructure gaps amounts to between $137 billion and $177 billion by 2025.
In addition, Ministers recognized that it is increasingly unlikely to achieve the next seven years, the targets of SDGs 1 and 10 of eradicating extreme poverty and reducing inequalities before the deadline of the Agenda. sustainable development by 2030. Poverty and inequality in Africa will therefore pose high risks to prosperity, peace and security, as well as to the social contract.
The ministers therefore recognized the need to boost economic recovery and protect vulnerable populations against soaring inflation – which is expected to reach 12.4% in Africa in 2023. According to the ministers’ statement, rising inflation rates interest and the tightening of monetary policy by central banks to fight inflation have contributed to aggravate the already limited fiscal space.
The Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will increase intra-African trade in agribusiness, services, industry, energy and mining and attract cross-border investment, the ministers noted in the statement. In the said statement, they call on ECA to support the continent with strategic thinking and new perspectives in achieving prosperity by 2030 and achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda and the Agenda 2063.
Acting Executive Secretary of ECA, Antonio Pedro, in closing the conference, said that to foster recovery and transformation in Africa, the continent must prioritize skills building, industrialization and economic diversification, development of infrastructure, intra-African trade and innovative financing.
“We have a mandate to deliver on our promise of shared prosperity to the peoples of Africa,” Mr. Pedro said, adding that sustainable solutions must be African-owned and that partnerships and collaborations are essential for a more successful Africa. transformed.