Thursday, 21 May 2015
Fridays of the Commission: Debate stressed on a robust, fair and equitable agreement during the July 2015 Third Conference on Financing for Development
Addis Ababa, 19thMay 2015: The African Union Headquarters hosted on 19th May 2015, the Conference-debate of the “Fridays of the Commission “under the theme “Towards the Third International Conference on Financing for Development: Africa’s expectations”. The event organized by the Department of Economic Affairs of the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with Oxfam International Liaison Office to the AU and the Directorate of Information and Communication of the AUC, brought together representatives of the African Union Commission, officials from UNECA and other United Nations Agencies in Addis Ababa, African Development Bank as well as members of the diplomatic corps in Ethiopia and the civil society. The session was chaired by Dr. Réné Kouassi N’guettia, Director of the Economic Affairs department of the AUC. The debate was aimed at highlighting Africa’s expectations in the framework of the Third International Conference on Financing Development (FfD3) that will take place in July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as well as to allow the civil society to share its views on the FfD 3.
Dr. Kouassi commended all the participants for coming to this very critical event for the continent. He highlighted the fact that financing the development agenda of the continent is a very crucial issue as Africa needs to see its expectations taken into consideration in the outcomes of the Third Conference on Financing Development. He also underscores the necessity to go beyond the objectives set by the Monterey Conference in 2002 in order to integrate the African development views expressed in the Agenda 2063 as well as the African Common Position on the Post 2015 Agenda.
Mr. Desiré Assogbavi, Head of Oxfam International Liaison Office to the African Union underlined the fact that African citizens expect that the Addis Ababa Agreement will mobilize international action around specific initiatives focusing on education, health, small holder agriculture and nutrition, infrastructure, women empowerment, among other areas of development. “Decisions of the FfD 3 must be bold, visionary, and lead to transformative change if today we are to create a universal equitable and sustainable prosperity within planetary boundaries, and fulfill international human rights obligations for future generations.” He noted.
Meanwhile, the Permanent representative of the Republic of Benin to the African Union, H.E Naim Akibou, speaking on behalf the Least Developed Countries stressed on the inefficiency of the measures taken to address the Africa’s development challenges. “The Addis Ababa Conference therefore represents an opportunity for the world to demonstrate an acting solidarity and clear support of the international community to the least developed countries.”He underscored. H.E Naim Akibou urged the partners to consider the realities of those countries, which are mainly Africans, in the establishment of the new aid mechanism.
In the same vein, Mr. Charles Abugre, Commissioner at the Ghana National Development Planning Commission presented an Africa’s perspective on Financing Development. He pointed out the new world development context characterized by a new narrative and the need for a global economic system that would be of interest to all citizens. He called upon all the African countries to improve their ability to mobilize domestic resources for the transformation of their local economies. The establishment of a fair and just mechanism of debt will also be another requirement to ensure the efficiency of the decisions that will be taken during the FfD 3 Conference. In that regard, “Prioritization, flexibility and capacity support will be crucial”, he concluded.
Dr. Vanessa Inko-Dokubo, policy advisor on extractives industries at Oxfam International Liaison Office to the African Union, emphasized on the inclusiveness of the consultative process that will lead to the Addis Ababa Conference. She commended the engagement of the civil society groups for a fair agreement in July. According to the Oxfam Policy advisor, taxation should be at the center of the FfD 3 and measures should be taken so that it will become one of the main levers of domestic resource mobilization in Africa. Moreover, she reaffirmed the need to give the prominence to the funding of Climate Change and Women empowerment.
The Conference ended with an interactive session which gave the opportunity to the participants to raise several other issues, including the acceleration of the African Trade, the establishment of a clear continental industrial policy, the creation of an environment enabling investment, among others.
The” Fridays of the Commission” concept constitutes a series of conference debates on current, economic, political and cultural issues pertinent to the continent and which give the opportunities to different stakeholders to discuss on African developmental issues from an African perspective. The deliberations of this session will be captured in a Bulletin of the “Fridays of the Commission” and disseminated among the participants and a wide audience.