Ethiopia: African leaders underline common development framework for Africa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn has called on African states to be “strategic, ambitious, rigorous and disciplined” if they are to achieve sustainable and inclusive development for their people.

Opening the annual Conference of Ministers jointly organised by the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa on Monday, the Prime Minister declared: “Our future rests in our hands.”

This year’s two-day conference is taking place against the backdrop of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, agenda 2030, where African leaders, along with other world leaders, recommitted themselves to the pursuit of a more sustainable development pathway.

In this context, African countries are confronted with a dual transition: a global level transition from the Millennium Development Goals to agenda 2030; and a regional level transition to Africa's own Agenda 2063.

By signing onto Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063, African member States demonstrated commitment to the implementation and follow-up on both agendas.  

Addressing the conference, DR Congo's Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo said that governments have a crucial role to play in bringing about sustainable development.

“Many African countries are already on track with transforming their economies. The role of governments in Africa is to offer inclusive and sustainable development which is important in addressing climate change and economic growth,” he said.

Meanwhile, African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma implored AU member states to improve young people’s skills in science and engineering.

“With an average of over 90% of graduates in social sciences, Africa’s innovation and scientific skills lag behind,” she stated, noting that Africa has no choice but to look for solutions.

Dlamini Zuma also spoke on industrialisation and economic diversification, stressing the need to reduce import dependency and to create regional centres of innovation.

Underlining the same view, ECA Executive Secretary Carlos Lopes said that Africa's current growth has not generated sufficient jobs and has not been inclusive enough to significantly curb poverty.

Mr. Lopes suggested that Africa should look into “structurally transforming, focusing on the potential offered by industrialization”, with a view to expanding commodities value chains and attracting low-value manufacturing from Asia.

“Transformation will not happen spontaneously but rather as a result of deliberate and coherent policies that are entrenched into a coherent development strategy, enlightened by a transformational leadership,” he said.

Picking up on the theme of leadership, Namibian Vice President Nickey Iyambo told the conference: “Strong leadership is a prerequisite for fostering the continent’s development with healthy economies that grow and end poverty.”

He encouraged African countries to learn from Namibia’s approach by cultivating the African spirit of self-reliance through a wise use of resources. “Let’s take the torch in our own hand and develop our countries,” he added.

The conference is deliberating on how countries can harmonise frameworks and establish common mechanisms of implementation, monitoring and evaluation to achieve Africa’s collective goals of sustainable development and transformation. It will place greater emphasis on the policies and institutions needed for the transformation of African economies.
-0- PANA AR 4April2016

04 april 2016 17:42:37




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