The Outgoing Chair of the Bureau of Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Ministers of Finance , Planning and Economic Development Dr. Ashatu Kijaji who is also Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for finance officiating the opening session of the Ninth Joint Annual Meeting of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration and the ECA Conference of African Ministers for Finance at ECA Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this morning(Monday 4,April2016).On the left is the host Ethiopia’s Prime Minister H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn.
Retired Tanzanian Presidents H.E.Ali Hassan Mwinyi and H.E.Benjamin William Mkapa during the opening session of the Ninth Joint Annual Meetings of ECA Conference of African Ministers for finance ,Planning and Economic Developments held in Addis Ababa Ethiopia this morning(Monday 4 April,2016)(photos Courtesy of Tanzanian Embassy Addis Ababa Ethiopia).
The Deputy Minister for Finance Dr. Ashatu Kijaji has said that both development Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 can facilitate implementation of Africa’s aspirations for structural transformation insisting that the two must be implemented in a coherent and integrated fashion.
Dr.Kijaii said this while officiating at the opening ceremony of the 9th Joint Annual Meeting of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Finance, monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration and the Economic Commission for Africa Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development at ECA Conference Centre in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for Finance who is also the outgoing chair of Bureau of African Ministers of finance, planning and Economic development said that the implementation of the two development agendas in a coherent and integrated manner would leverage the synergies and subsequently reinforce relationship among them avoiding a silo approach that would be counter-productive.
“In the next two days we will deliberate on precisely these areas and how to develop an integrated framework that encompasses both agendas because harmonizing the two agendas and their frameworks not only reduces the burden on national planning capacities but also vital for coherent implementation”, She emphasized.
Speaking during the same occasion the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Dr.Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma reiterated her call for African countries to mobilize abundant local resources to fund various development initiatives and that proper policies should be employed to facilitate that endeavour.
Dr.Zuma insisted that African counties should formulate sound economic policies that would be instrumental in facilitating diversification and support agro-processing paving the way for industrialization in the continent.
The African Union Commission chairperson further insisted efficient data collection was instrumental not only in implementing various development projects but most importantly in measuring and monitoring progress.
Delivering his remarks the UN Under Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa Dr. Carlos lopes said the current downturn in commodity prices will affect Africa’s development trajectory but on the other hand could provide the continent with powerful incentives to relocate economic resources away from commodity production and into more sustainable activities.
“The volatility of most commodities including oil has been high in 2015, but contrary to general belief not far above historical trends, uranium, coffee, gold coffee , cocoa or orange juice exported from Africa are experiencing record prices,” he said.
Dr. Lopes further said that African current growth has not generated sufficient jobs and has not been inclusive enough to significantly curb poverty and that it has been driven for a third by commodity price boom and government related spending adding that fluctuation in commodities prices has made such growth vulnerable.
He said it was thus imperative for African countries to structurally transform economic policies to focus more on the potential offered by industrialization including the expansion of commodities value chains, the positioning for agro-business to act as the pull factor for agriculture to get out of the doldrums.
Mr. Lopes said Structural transformation will not happen spontaneously in African countries but rather as a result of deliberate and coherent policies that are entrenched into a coherent development strategy, enlightened by a transformational leadership.
In his welcoming remarks Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn said Agenda 2063 and its ten year implementation plan complements and reinforces the global agenda by taking into account region specific and trans-boundary initiatives such as strengthening Africa’s cultural identity and common heritage and fostering an integrated and politically united Africa based the ideals of pan Africanism and the vision of African renaissance.
Deliberations of the conference of African Ministers for finance, planning and economic Development will evolve around the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Objectives (SDGs) and Africa’s 50-year development plan; Agenda 2063.