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Botswana hosts 2017 African Caucus


Botswana hosts 2017 African Caucus

Botswana hosts 2017 African Caucus
Photo credit: TechnoServe

Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and delegates from countries on the African continent met here in Gaborone on Thursday for the 2017 African Caucus.

The two-day forum is under the theme: “Economic Transformation and Jobs Creation: A focus on Agriculture and Agribusiness.”

Delegates, including ministers of finance and central bank governors from 54 African countries, will discuss issues of mutual interest and take common position to present to the Heads of the Bretton Woods Institutions.

The caucus provides a platform on which African countries can articulate their positions jointly and guide their development partners on Africa’s key priority areas in their development agenda.

When addressing the official opening ceremony of the forum, the chairman of the African Caucus, Kenneth Matambo who is also the Minister of Finance and Economic Development in Botswana, said they have chosen to discuss the role of agriculture in transforming the economies and creating jobs, particularly for women and youth, who are economically disadvantaged.

Matambo also said as African governments they went further to make a commitment under the African Union’s Agenda 2063, to work towards modern and productive agriculture. He emphasized that they are committed to using science and technology, innovation and indigenous knowledge to create a profitable and attractive Africa.

During the two days meeting, governors will discuss and reach a consensus on the following topics: (i) Agricultural Policy Foundations, financing, land Tenure and Markets, (ii) Technologies for Agricultural Development and Climate Smart Agriculture; the role of private sector, (iii) Agricultural value chains and sustainable jobs creation for youth and women, (iv) fiscal policy to support agricultural transformation in Africa, and (v) financial deepening and Inclusion to support Agricultural Development in Africa.

The findings of the deliberations will inform the 2017 Memorandum of African Governors to the Heads of the Bretton Woods Institutions, being the president of the World Bank Group, Dr Jim Yong Kim and the Managing Director of the international Monetary Fund, Ms Christine Lagarde.

Matambo concluded by reminding fellow African governors that agriculture is recognized as the single largest employer in the world, providing livelihoods to about 30 percent of the world population.

He is of the view that their governments can create sustainable jobs especially for women and youth, and guarantee food security along with knowledge and entrepreneurship, and by responding to and creating innovative ways to meet the needs of the agriculture sector.

The African Caucus was established in 1963, as the “African Group,” with the objective of strengthening the voice of African Governors in the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs), i.e. the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG), on development issues of particular interest to Africa.

Membership to the Caucus is open to all African Countries who are members of the IMF and WBG, currently all the 54 countries on the African continent.


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