The High Level Policy Dialogue on Development in Africa ended in Cairo Thursday with Adam Elhiraika, Director for Macroeconomic Policy Division at the Economic Commission for Africa, pledging ECA’s continued support to member States as they seek solutions to challenges plaguing the continent, especially as they implement the sustainable development goals.
In remarks at the end of the policy dialogue, Mr. Elhiraika the ECA will continue to work with member States to see how they can fund the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063, the continent’s development plan for the next 50 years and in the process ensure no-one is left behind as is demanded by the goals.
He said the ECA was committed to supporting African countries so they can achieve the SDGs and ensure development is inclusive on the continent.
“As we have seen in the past few days of discussion, the estimates of additional financing needs for Africa to achieve the SDGs range from $600 billion to over $1.2 trillion annually. In order to provide sufficient resources, African countries will need to tap into diverse funding sources for their development programmes, from tax and non-tax public revenues, to public borrowing, to private investments, to innovative sources of finance,” said Mr. Elhiraika.
“Moreover, the need for more effective use of the available resources was expressed. In particular, public financial management must be improved, including through good budgeting and effective resource allocation towards priority areas.”
Professor Alaa Zahran, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Institute of National Planning, which co-hosted the meeting with the ECA’s Capacity Development Division (CDD), reiterated his opening remarks that Egypt was committed to implementing the SDGs and was leaving no stone unturned in raising the required resources to fund the Agenda, hard as it may be.
Egypt launched its national strategy in alignment with the 2030 Agenda entitled; Egypt’s vision 2030 which Mr. Zahran said was reflected in the government program for the period 2016-2018.
He thanked the ECA for its commitment to helping member States with their developmental plans and related programs, in particular ensuring there is accelerated growth and economic diversification on the continent.
Egypt estimates that it needs 7,500 billion Egyptian Pounds to fund the SDGs.
“Financing the SDGs and resource mobilization represent a major challenge but several innovative tools are crucial to overcome this challenge,” said Mr. Zahran.
The Policy Dialogue comprised seven panel discussions. The first six spoke to key aspects of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Financing and examined issues like linking development planning and financing (resource mobilization); assessed financing requirements and gaps, and identified finance sources; public and private finance (Domestic and International); innovative sources of finance; illicit financial flows; and made recommendations on a resource mobilization framework for SDG financing in Africa. The seventh addressed the role of data and statistics in SDG financing.
The meeting was held under the theme: Financing the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa: Strategies for Planning and Resource Mobilization.
It was attended by Planning Ministers, Directors General responsible for Development Planning or their representatives, Directors of Finance and other officials from 36 African countries.