Experts Stress Practical, Innovative Ways to Accelerate Inclusive Economic Transformation in Africa

Practical and innovative ways to accelerate inclusive economic transformation in Africa took center stage in a session to review progress and set a new agenda in the implementation of the Doha and Vienna programme of action in Africa at the expert’s segment of the 55th Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

Presentations by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) highlighted that despite a greater emphasis on both programmes of action in building productive capacity, boosting agriculture, food security, trade, good governance, and development, most African countries which form the majority of the LDCs have made only limited headway in transforming the structure of their economies to achieve sustainable development.

According to ECA, the devastating impacts of COVID-19, and the war in Ukraine on production, trade, and its wider economic and social effects, have mired progress even further.

Despite this, some African countries have made some progress in various areas of action. Botswana, Cabo Verde, and Equatorial Guinea have graduated from the list of LDCs while Comoros, Djibouti, Senegal, and Zambia were determined to have met the graduation standards for the first time.

There has equally been considerable progress in science, technology, and innovation, as well as on trade with the advent of the AfCFTA.

On renewable energy, Africa is performing well and for the first time, it is on the same line with the rest of the world in a race to explore technologies that could impact its energy security, it was indicated.

While this progress is promising, many African countries still face an array of binding constraints.

A lack of technological capabilities, infrastructure deficiencies, limited government capacity to implement growth-oriented structural policies, and insecurities and instabilities in areas like the Sahel have all combined to impede faster progress.

“There is no way trade or development will happen where bullets are flying. We need a nexus between security and development to ensure no one is left behind,” said Francis Ikome, Chief of the Regional Integration Section, ECA.

Addressing these constraints is crucial for Africa’s long-term development and will be the main driver of its transition from low- to middle- and, ultimately, high-income status.

As experts analyzed and sought ideas that translate into action, a set of recommendations presented highlighted the need for ECA to continue strengthening support for African LDCs to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the war in Ukraine.

Countries need to expedite the implementation of the AfCFTA, deepen regional integration and increase connectivity by closing the digital divide, as well as leverage digital technologies to boost trade and grow the capacity of African LDCs to attract productive investment.

These recommendations can drive more discernible progress in overcoming the many structural impediments confronting these countries.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

ECA Supporting Ethiopia to Diversify its Rich Tourism Sector

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) stated that it is cooperating with Ethiopia in many ways and especially supporting the country to diversify its rich tourism sector.

ECA East Africa Director, Mama Keta told ENA that ECA is cooperating with Ethiopia in many ways and especially it is supporting the country to develop and diversify its rich tourism sector.

This continued support for Ethiopia in tourism development and diversification is part of ECA’s cooperation and supports to the country in many ways.

According to her, the second most populous country in Africa, with a big economy, immense potential in many sectors, and especially tourism for her office is critical point of cooperation and support to facilitating trade and regional economic integration.

“ECA works very well with Ethiopia. Ethiopia is key for AFCFTA and for Africa as a whole. The size of the economy is big and in terms of population also it is very big. It has also some great skills. So, ECA supports Ethiopia in so many things,” Mama Keta said.

The director pointed out that her office is particularly working with the Government of Ethiopia to unlock and diversify the enormous tourism potential of Ethiopia.

“From my office, for instance, we supported the country, and we are still supporting the country to diversify its tourism sector,” she pointed out.

Mama Keta noted that developing and diversifying the tourism sector in Ethiopia is critical and extremely important.

“For a country that is not very rich in natural resources and that is rich in historical sites and heritage, tourism is a critical and extremely important sector. So we are, for instance, supporting Ethiopia right now, to develop further the tourism sector to improve the statistics in order to be able to plan well, and to measure the results that are being done. So this is just one example where ECA is supporting Ethiopia but in many other sectors really collaboration is going on.”

Ethiopia is bestowed with massive tangible and intangible heritages and its natural and artificial tourism destinations have been expanding and diversifying, increasing earnings.

ECA has been assisting Ethiopia’s trade policy agenda, aimed at fostering industrialization and sustained economic growth and regional integration, it was learned.

She further stressed the need to remove non-tariff barriers and harmonize policies that allow free movement of people and goods to enhance economic activities, especially trade, particularly in East Africa and the continent.

Removing the barriers of trade will facilitate regional economic integration, create jobs and offer favorable markets in Africa, she added.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency