UNECA recommends people-centered strategies to accelerate economic recovery in Africa
March 22, 2023145 views0 comments
By Onome Amuge
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), has urged African leaders to swiftly invest in and implement people-centered strategies to mobilise financial resources and accelerate continental economic recovery.
Antonio Pedro,acting executive secretary, UNECA, stated this during the ministerial segment of the 55th Session of UNECA’s Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development,in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, themed“Fostering recovery and transformation in Africa to reduce inequalities and vulnerabilities”.
According to Pedro, Africa was at the center of global sustainability transitions, such as decarbonisation of production systems, electrification of transportation infrastructure and accelerated use of renewable energy, which he said should underpin the continent’s recovery from the multiple crises.
“We need to adopt measures to mitigate economic and social vulnerability, reduce economic inequality, foster inclusive and resilient growth and accelerate poverty reduction in Africa,” he said.
The UNECA executive secretary, who lamented that Africa has been pummeled by a combination of overlapping crises that have eroded achievements in Africa, stressed that Africa needs a people-centered development model that integrates poverty and inequality reduction into national and regional development strategies.
He added that the continent needs to strengthen its macroeconomic fundamentals and access adequate financing to promote structural transformation.
Pedro also identified the African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as an opportunity to bridge the inequality and vulnerability gap while fostering recovery and transformation in Africa.
He, therefore, emphasised the need to accelerate its implementation to support Africa’s economic recovery. In addition, raising funding for long-term development needs multiple approaches, such as the growing domestic and regional financial markets and engaging in the carbon credit market which could unlock $82 billion for Africa that could drive sustainable industrialization and economic diversification.
For his part, Ahmed Shide,Ethiopia minister of finance, called on African countries to diversify their economies and minimise dependence on extractive sectors while implementing inclusive policy measures to address economic challenges.
“Our approaches to address economic challenges and poverty alleviation should balance between short-term response measures and lasting preventive solutions,”he said, adding that countries need to tap their national potential to transform the continent and reduce poverty.
Also speaking, Henry Musasizi,Uganda minister of state for finance and development and chairperson of the bureau of the Fifty-fifth session, advised African countries to implement policy reforms to tackle inequality and poverty which have been worsened by multiple crises affecting the continent.