Participants at the 10th African Economic Conference, held in Kinshasa, Congo have re-echoed the need to leave no one behind in the continent’s quest to address inequality and effectively reduce poverty, a press release jointly issued by the organisers and copied to ghanabusinessnews.com has said.
The participants believe that leaving no one behind in the development agenda will require taking bold steps by African governments including strengthening the role of state in economic transformation to address poverty and inequality on the continent.
“This,” they said must be, “in addition to accelerating the process of structural transformation and making it more equitable, inclusive, resilient and sustainable, integrating the green dimensions.”
At the end of the three-day conference they signed the Kinshasa Consensus arguing that addressing poverty and inequality, is central to achieving Agenda 2030 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
They also emphasized the need for bold steps to diversify the economies of African countries away from primary commodities to avoid the challenges associated with natural resources overdependence.
Economic experts at the conference emphasised the use of agriculture and the extractive sectors as the linchpin of economic transformation.
Agriculture, they argued, remains a major source of livelihoods for the majority of African poor and still remains the core of the employment and income generation for most African economies.
According to the release, the participants noted that as countries transform they need to put in place measures to adequately manage the transition and especially counter the resulting special inequalities that are likely to occur.
“In particular, governments need to prioritize bridging the current huge infrastructure deficits, especially electricity, as well as reduce African economies’ vulnerability to external shocks and domestic conflicts,” they said.
“It is therefore imperative to pursue an agriculture-led industrial development as it provides much needed capital,” the Kinshasa Consensus reads in part.
They also urged African countries to consider the effective mobilization and efficient utilization of domestic resources as Africa should be able to use development aid to scale up domestic resources mobilization.
The conference is organized annually by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Economic Commission of Africa (ECA).
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi