Building capacity to help Africa trade better

African Agenda 2063: what progress since adoption in 2015?


African Agenda 2063: what progress since adoption in 2015?

African Agenda 2063: what progress since adoption in 2015?
Photo credit: AU

Extracts from the Briefing prepared by Dr. Anthony Mothae Maruping, Commissioner for Economic Affairs at the African Union Commission, during his press conference at the 2017 African Union Summit


African Agenda 2063 is a framework formulated for the purpose of guiding Africa’s development in the next fifty years. Organization of African Unity (OAU) focused on decolonization of Africa and performed very well in that regard. African Union (AU) is focusing on development on a broad front, be it economic, social, political, scientific as well as cultural. African Agenda 2063 built on existing African frameworks, programmes and declarations, consultations with a broad spectrum of African stakeholders at the grassroots level, synthesis of 35 national and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) strategic and action plans, situational analysis and study of global mega trends. It was adopted by the African Union Summit in January 2015. Its First Ten Year Implementation Plan (FTYIP) was adopted in June 2015. It predates global Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of September 2015, Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) adopted by the Third Conference on Financing for Development; and end of 2015 Paris COP21.

It should be pointed out from the outset that global Agenda 2030 and its SDGs were heavily influenced by African Union’s Common African Position on Post 2015 Development Agenda (CAP) with Africa being the only region to submit a well articulated position in writing. UN Open Working Group (OWG) and formal inter-governmental negotiations relied heavily on CAP. CAP was adopted by the AU Summit in Addis Ababa in January of 2015 and promulgated in Ndjamena in February 2015.

The question is: What has transpired since adoption Agenda 2063? Has there been any progress towards its implementation? Before addressing these questions what challenges emerged in the global and continental arena after the adoption of Agenda 2063?

Challenging Global Phenomena Post Adoption of Agenda 2063

Global commodities demand, and therefore prices, dropped drastically and remained at that new low level. African exports plummeted. This posed serious problems for most African countries whose economies rely on a narrow band of commodities exports. Extreme climatic conditions in the form of prolonged severe drought and destructive floods adversely affected most of Africa. Strengthening of some major currencies exacerbated external indebtedness and generated inflationary pressures in a number of African countries. Competent macro-economic management saved the day.

The future of Official Development Assistance (ODA) came into question. Signs of fatigue abound. Tilt towards referring to engagement with the private sector is gathering momentum. In any case ODA has always precipitated towards priority areas of providers and not those of the recipients. Despite the Busan undertakings ODA remained selective, conditionality laden and characterized by failures to fulfill commitments. Developed world is fixated with migration.

Need to address aging population in developed countries and non-response of economies to standard stimulus packages following 2007 – 9 financial and economic crises, except that of the United States, prompted resort to economic re-engineering. Compliance with COP21 and 22 is another cause of re-engineering. This will mean changed pattern and magnitude of demand for Africa’s exports down the line.

Globally e-economy and blue economy are rapidly gaining in prominence globally. Accelerated urbanization in Africa is also posing a challenge to be addressed.

The influence of G-8, which later reduced back to G-7, has waned while that of BRICS and G-20 has gathered strength.

Now there are pronouncements of tendencies towards reversion to isolationism and protectionism.

With all these emerging challenges Agenda 2063 originally meant to guide development over the next fifty years is now turning out to be a timely vessel for Africa to navigate complex global dynamics. For Africa transformative growth and development within the context of Agenda 2063 has become an imperative.

What Does Transformative Growth and Development Entail?

Through Agenda 2063 Africa is striving for accelerated, inclusive and real growth with equity; growth that will result in job creation and moving the continent towards eradication of poverty in all its forms (and not just extreme poverty). This is to result in strong, resilient and sustainable socioeconomic development and human development.

In order to achieve this, it is necessary to strengthen productive capacities and ensure raised productivity. Competitiveness has to be improved to elicit significantly increased investment. Diversification in all sectors and value addition and beneficiation will need to be intensified. Integration will have to be accelerated and trade, especially intra-Africa, potential has to be realized.

This calls for development of infrastructure in its broad context and energy generation. Climate smart agriculture and food security will have to be pursued more vigorously. Investment in human capital will need to be intensified. Science, technology and innovation will have to be nurtured. Technology can be developed, transferred or diffused. Industrialization will have to be accelerated. Services sector will need to diversify and strengthen.

In order to achieve goals of Agenda 2063 all human resources at the disposal of society will have to be fully involved in production. Women empowerment has to be accelerated, engagement of youth in economic and social activities has to be ensured. Inclusion of people living with disabilities has to be expedited.

Progress on the Fast Track/Flagship Programmes and Projects

Agenda 2063 has 13 fast track programmes and projects.

The first is based on Article 19 of the AU Constitutive Act stipulates establishment of four continental financial and monetary institutions to service development. They are the African Central Bank (ACB), the African Investment Bank (AIB), the African Monetary Fund (AMF) and the Pan African Stock Exchange.

Regarding the African Central Bank the agreed timeframe for establishing ACB is between 2028 and 2034. Strategy towards this target has been agreed and await blessing by the 28th AU Assembly. When it comes to AIB Statutes have been adopted. Twelve ratifications are needed to reach the required threshold for activation. The agreed schedule for operationalizing AIB is 2025.

AMF statutes have been adopted. Minimum required number of ratifications should be secured punctually for scheduled commencement of operations in 2023. Study has been conducted regarding Pan African (virtual) Stock Exchange to facilitate mobilization and flow of capital for development on the continent. The study is to be scrutinized by Finance and Monetary Affairs Ministers in 2017.

Second, is the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) with the deadline for concluding negotiations set for 2017. Negotiations are ongoing. Formation of Tripartite (COMESA, EAC and SADC) has been a giant step closer to CFTA.

Third, comes the African Commodity Strategy is expected to be adopted by the AU Assembly of 2017. Drawing a Plan of Action will then follow.

Fourth, is the Pan African Integrated High Speed Train Network. In this regard a five year action plan and a roadmap have already been agreed upon by AU and committed partners. Building of railways network is thriving in East Africa.

Fifth endeavor deals with the Single African Aviation Market. In this case draft memorandum between RECs and African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) has been forwarded to the RECs for consideration. African airlines are fully committed to expeditiously implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision of 2002.

Sixth, project is energy generation focusing on the Great Inga Dam. The blue print has been developed. AUC is continuing to support mobilization of development partners and the private sector to get engaged in the project. Nigeria and South Africa have already indicated their intended purchase of the power generated by this project. Construction on Inga 3 is still expected to commence in June 2017. It will take about five to ten years to complete.

Seventh, project involves Free Movement of Persons and the African Passport. Consultations have been ongoing and include AU Member States, to develop and validate an AU Protocol on free movement in Africa. African Passport was inaugurated in Kigali in July 2016.

Eighth, undertaking is the annual African Economic Dialogue Platform aimed at bringing together for dialogue on business and economic issues the African Heads of State and Government (HOS & G), African business community, academia and civil society. Preparations are advanced for the inaugural forum in March 2017.

Ninth, is the effort to silence the guns on the African continent by 2020. Aprican Peace and Security Roadmap spanning 2016-2020 has been validated by the Peace and Security Council in Lusaka, Zambia, in November, 2016. It is expected to be considered and adopted by the AU Assembly during this 28th Summit of AU.

Tenth, has to do with the establishment of the Virtual University. Good progress has been made in the preparations. The stage of developing a staffing structure and developing a strategic plan and formulating draft project has arrived.

Eleventh, is the Pan-African E-Network on Tele-Education and Telemedicine (PAeN). The relevant Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Information and Communication Technologies agreed in April 2016 to: (a) put in place the agreed governance and management structures; (b) effect the transfer of operating this network from India.

Twelfth, initiative is that of developing African Outer Space Strategy. The exercise to devise a clear roadmap for he governance of the African space policy and strategy is ongoing.

Thirteenth, plan of action to establish the Great Museum of Africa is being developed by the AUC in collaboration with Algeria, the host.

Clearly there is progress being made on every fast track programme/project. Implementation of Agenda 2063 has definitely commenced.

Most of these fast track/flagship programmes and projects have the quality of not only being development by themselves but also enabling and facilitating development in other areas. They are also development enablers.

Since implementation of Agenda 2063 is involving not only the public sector but also the private sector and civil society, these projects provide a rich field of investment opportunities.

What is the Source of Hope for Successful Implementation of Agenda 2063?

After witnessing sluggish implementation of previous OAU/AU frameworks where lies the source of hope that there will be successful implementation of Agenda 2063? Lessons of experience prompted the African Union to avoid overlooking factors crucial for meticulous implementation of frameworks.

First, formulation of Agenda 2063 was a bottom-up process. It involved consultations with a wide spectrum of stakeholders. It was participatory and highly inclusive. This means that there is stronger ownership and higher level of commitment.

Second, its implementation is not confined to the public sector but includes private sector and civil society. Private sector and civil society were consulted during formulation. Business Councils and Economic dialogue platform as well as private sector development are empowering African private sector. Civil Society’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) has been revitalized and fully operational. African private sector and civil society have a crucial role in Agenda 2063 implementation. Implementation is participatory.

Third, domestication exercise at national and RECs levels means incorporating contents of Agenda 2063 into strategic and action plans and budgets. These are the instruments of implementation. Domestication strategy has just been reviewed and consolidated.

Fourth, clearly stated vision, 7 aspirations, 20 goals, 39 priority areas, targets and indicators lend Agenda 2063 to results based management of implementation. They make Agenda 2063 concrete and therefore very implementable.

Fifth, accountability architecture has been set up already. It includes Ministerial Follow-up Committee.

Sixth, required capacity to successfully implement Agenda 2063 has been assessed. Capacity building strategy to close observed gaps is being developed.

Seventh, risk that may be entailed has been assessed and strategy for navigating safely around during implementation has been developed.

Eighth, Financing strategy has just been revisited, reviewed and consolidated and await validation by appropriate organs.

Ninth, in order to continue building up and maintaining awareness and commitment to Agenda 2063 communications strategy is being developed in consultation with the media, including engagement of African Editors Forum. Two workshops have already been held on this matter.

Tenth, accelerated women’s empowerment, active engagement of the youth in productive activities and inclusion of people living with disabilities, mean that all talent and energy at the disposal of society will be utilized.

Eleventh, all African development partners have been fully alerted to the fact that all development co-operation with Africa should henceforth be within the context of Agenda 2063. They have all pledged to comply with that request.

Clearly several precautions have been duly taken to raise the chances of successfully implementation of Agenda 2063. These are the reasons for optimism.


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel +27 21 880 2010