Thursday, January 17, 2013

Africa’s economic growth needs to focus on equity…

The Heads of the African Union Commission, the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank Group have noted that Africa’s economic growth needs to focus on equity, inclusiveness, the preservation of natural capital and creation of decent jobs, especially for the youth and women, says a communiqué.

Dr Nkosana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and Dr Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 11 and 12 January 2013 at the New AU Conference Center where the communiqué was issued.

They firmly believe the time is ripe for a paradigm shift and a change in mindset towards realizing the vision of a continent that is integrated, prosperous and peaceful, and a dynamic force in the global arena.

They also emphasise that Africa’s challenge is economic transformation should be led by Africans. And to achieve this objective, they commit to explore all avenues for mobilizing sources of finance including tapping into Africa’s own resources and global financial opportunities.

We welcome the continent’s resilience in the face of the recent global financial and economic crises but commit to further action with all relevant stakeholders to enhance Africa’s economic independence, reduce vulnerability and diversify its relations within the global economy, they said.

However, they acknowledge that external partners have contributed to Africa’s progress through instruments such as the Africa Development Fund (ADF) to which “we remain committed.” “We will actively explore Africa’s participation in these financial mechanisms.”

To support the vision of Africa’s leaders to transform the continent over the next 50 years, they reaffirm the commitment by the three pan-African institutions to collaborate closely with Regional Economic Communities and other partners to foster the agenda of an integrated and prosperous continent.

And have agreed to engage with Africa’s leaders and peoples in articulating and preparing such an African led transformation agenda for the next 50 years. 

“We shall pursue this discussion in the upcoming African Union meetings and through consultations with Regional Economic Communities, Partners and other stakeholders to realize the vision of the African Renaisance,” they promised.

Individually, they said they are mindful of the roles and responsibilities of their (three) institutions for Africa’s development, and the need to coordinate their activities in setting the agenda to support Africa’s socio-economic transformation as they commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the OAU/AU in May 2013

They also recognize the progress the continent has made in several areas, including peace, and security, good governance, economic growth, regional integration and attracting investments.

They reflected on the key challenges, opportunities and priorities facing Africa going forward, drawing on the experience of the last 50 years.

Written by Modou S. Joof

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