President Macky Sall of Senegal has called on Africa’s development partners to agree to a renegotiation of the terms of the current multilateral system in light of shocks dealt to the global economy by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine.
President Sall, also Chairperson of the African Union, made the call at the opening of the High-Level Ministerial Dialogue at the 54th Session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (CoM 2022) in Dakar, Senegal. The question at the heart of the dialogue was: “Can the development ambition of billions to trillions be achieved?”.
It was attended by African ministers, dignitaries from the private sector in Africa and other parts of the world, as well as experts from the UN system and other global institutions.
The President said, “No sooner had we begun to recover from the constraints of COVID than the war in Ukraine came. Although the war affects the globe, it has unique consequences for Africa. We are now forced as a continent to speak up and call for changes in the global system. Thankfully, these days, everybody seems to concur that the international system needs restructuring”.
He added that it was in the global interest that low-income countries become resilient to shocks, thus financing Africa’s recovery should be seen in this vein.
Prof. Peter Blair Henry of the New York University Stern School of Business was also emphatic that future investments should be motivated by Africa’s proven ability to organize and deliver at scale as the continent did with the African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP). This style, he believes, also ensures “African agency”.
“Once projects have been identified, tested, and rank-ordered according to returns, the African Union can collectively and individually create its own list of priority infrastructure projects [for which they can mobilize finance],” Prof. Henry added
The ECA’s Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, expressed hope that in restructuring the multilateral system, Africa “becomes a continent that actively contributes in designing global solutions.”
The annual Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (CoM) is the ECA’s largest annual event and provides an opportunity for participants to debate key issues on Africa’s development, and to discuss the think tank’s performance in delivering on its mandate.