To achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs), Africa needs a paradigm shift, by making a fresh commitment and increasing investments in its economy, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has said.
The Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of the Commission, Hanan Morsy, urged African states to accelerate action to deliver green and inclusive recovery from the impact of multi global economic crises.
“A big part in our quest to deliver the SDGs, we need a new paradigm shift. We need to accelerate action to deliver green and inclusive recovery from the impact of multi global crises, which have beset the world,” Morsy said in closing remarks at the 2023 African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) Wednesday in Niamey, Niger Republic.
She said African countries have borne the brunt of the multi global crises of food, fuel, the Ukraine war, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change to which they were ill-equipped to bounce back from.
Analyses by the ECA, she said, showed that Africa would need around $438 billion of adaptation funding by 2030.
Apart from the threats of climate change, Morsy said security threats were also undermining efforts to make lasting development progress.
Morsy called for fresh commitment to partnerships in achieving the SDGs and emphasized the need for a renewed sense of solidarity and understanding that fast growth and recovery would be made by investing in regions where the most potential gains can be made.
“A clear message from this forum is that we need to break the risk aversion associated with investing in Africa,” Morsy said, calling for region-wide crowding of the private sector, harnessing blended finance and mobilising domestic resources through the “monetizing of natural capital.”
The Deputy Executive Secretary said it has been recognised that Africa could provide 50 percent of the world sequestration needs through its nature-based approaches.
She said it was through this realisation that the ECA supported countries in the Congo Basin Commission to establish a carbon credit registry.
The three-day Forum underscored the need for accelerated investment in realising the SDGs on clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; industry, innovation, and infrastructure; sustainable cities and communities; and partnerships for the Goals.
In December 2023, African Heads of state met in Niamey, Niger, for the African Union Summit on industrialization and highlighted the urgency of boosting investment in sustainable value chains to transform African economies
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is an effective lever for Africa to deliver on the SDGs, said Morsy who noted that holding the Forum in Niger has highlighted the need for accelerated climate action for African countries to recover from crises.
The ECA analysis, she stated, showed that “2 degrees of warming translates to over 15% of loss of GDP and we are currently on a course of in excess of 2.7 degrees of warming” in the Sahel where countries have the least capacity to respond.
The Forum issued the Niamey Declaration calling on African countries to redefine and develop economic models integrating the protection of natural resources, in particular water, the promotion of renewable energies and a just transition.
In addition, the Declaration – expressing concern over the convergence of geopolitical, financial, climate and biodiversity crises in amplified economic hardship and reducing prosperity in Africa – called for the establishment of green and resilient infrastructure that promotes sustainable industrialization and the development of an urbanisation that facilitates inclusive growth, taking into consideration the value of our human capital.