AfT is part and parcel of the official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries.
In the case of Africa, the increase in Aid for Trade commitments was more impressive than the total ODA commitments to the region, says the report titled “Global Review of Aid for Trade 2011: A snapshot of Aid for Trade on the ground in AFRICA.”
AfT commitments to Africa hit a new record of $16.5 billion in 2009, up from the 2002-05 baseline period average of $7.6 billion, the report noted.
“The growth rate of Aid for Trade commitments to Africa was almost twice as fast as the growth in the total ODA commitments to the region with an average annual growth rate of 21.4% and 11.1% per year in real terms during 2006-09, respectively,” said the report.
It also indicated that the continent is now the largest recipient of AfT, outpacing Asia.
“Africa is now the largest recipient of Aid for Trade, overtaking Asia in 2009 with an increasing trend in the global share. In the global Aid for Trade commitments, the share of Africa’s Aid for Trade increased from the baseline period average of 30.2 per cent to 41 per cent in 2009 while the ratio of Aid for Trade in the region’s total ODA commitments rose from 18.5 per cent to 28 per cent over the same period,” said the report.
The report said, this clearly indicates that the Aid for Trade commitments to Africa is increasing at a much faster rate than the total ODA flows to the region.
But Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, says despite the positive trends in Africa’s Aid for Trade, more interventions are needed to overcome some of the short and long term constraints it faces.
He made the remark at the Third Aid for Trade Global Review which was held last week July 19, 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland during a debate on progress in Africa.
Mr Janneh however, noted, that it has been difficult to target greater employment, diversification or positive gender or poverty impacts through AfT interventions.
“It is still too early to measure actual results and improved M&E mechanisms and tools are needed in order to fine-tune AfT responses to desired outcomes” since the AfT initiative was launched in the Hong Kong Ministerial Meeting in 2005, he said.
By Ekow Quandzie