Panafrican News Agency

Africa needs 11 percent GDP annual growth to meet the 2030 Agenda target

New York, USA (PANA) - The United Nations estimates that Africa will need to raise an estimated 11 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) for the next 10 years to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

Pursuant to UN General Assembly resolution adopted in September 2018, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, is required to report annually on ‘persistent and emerging challenges to the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa’.

In his report, presented to the UN Security Council ahead of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly that will open on 17 September, Guterres said Africa’s growth rate was insufficient to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063.

“The Economic Commission for Africa noted that economic growth was projected to increase from 3.2 percent in 2018 to 3.4 percent in 2019, mainly owing to strong private consumption, higher oil production and a strengthened global demand for and moderate increase in prices of commodities.

In addition, investment in public infrastructure, particularly in countries that are not endowed with marketable natural resources, surged and thereby enabled economic growth,” part of the report read.

“The growth rate is insufficient for eradicating poverty, however, or for meeting other targets set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063, and the growth was largely based on carbon-intensive drivers that are not compatible with environmental sustainability.

"To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations estimates that Africa will need to raise an estimated 11 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) annually for the next 10 years to close the financing gap.”

The report covered the period July 2018 to June 2019.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a plan that was adopted by Heads of State at the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2015.

In crafting the agenda, Heads of State agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets by year 2030 which are all centered on a sustainability formula of economic, social and environmental growth.

But, Africa’s growth still remains mostly commodity driven. For example, Africa's first and second economies, Nigeria and South Africa, respectively, are mostly supported through oil and minerals.

However, Africa's retail and mobile technology sectors have seen marked improvements in recent years.

Guterres said an average tax revenue to GDP ratio below 16 percent, efficient and effective domestic resource mobilization can address a substantial portion of the financing shortfall towards Africa meeting Agenda 2030.

“To accelerate economic growth, Africa must boost investment in infrastructure and productive capacities, especially investment that will absorb the capacities of its large population of young people, in order to help to improve competitiveness, create decent jobs and promote regional integration,” read part of the UN Secretary General's report.

“The countries in Africa should also tackle the drivers and root causes of insecurity, fragility, violent conflicts and forced displacement, including terrorism and extremism,” part of the report said.

The report highlighted that one positive step in the right direction was launching the African Continental Free Trade Area, which came into force in May 2019 and was formally launched in July 2019.

“When fully implemented, increase intra-African trade and present pathways for ground-breaking opportunities to advance the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 through inclusive socioeconomic growth and the structural transformation of the continent,” it said.

 -0- PANA TZ/AR 15 Sept2019