Structural transformation should underpin Africa’s priorities – ECA Chief

Structural transformation should underpin Africa’s priorities – ECA Chief
Photo credit: Biashara

25 Sep 2015

As the curtains close on the Millennium Development Goals, Mr. Carlos Lopes has stressed that the intense participation of Africa in defining the new sustainable development agenda paves the way for governments to make critical structural changes in response to socio-economic inequality.

Speaking at the ECA ahead of the UN General Assembly this September, Mr. Lopes stated that the new Sustainable Development Agenda must take on board Africa’s development goals and priorities, in particular, the need for innovative ways to finance our future.

“The financing imperatives for a sustainable future are immense; and a policy paradigm, centred on among others, Africa’s trillions of dollars in savings is the way forward,” he emphasized.

The landmark UN General Assembly is seen as a watershed moment that ushers in a new sustainable development agenda. Mr. Lopes will participate at severalhigh-level events aimed at consolidating the critical issues underpinning the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. He notes that while the high-level events will touch on the significant progress that has been achieved on the MDGs, there will be a greater focus on lessons and implications for the next 15 years.

He also expressed great appreciation for the work done by Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in her role as Co-Chair of the High Level Panel on Sustainable Development Goals and for steering Africa’s priorities, together with the African Union, towards a Common African Position that now completes the MDGs and transitions the focus on Africa’s priorities in the context of the SDGS.

Mr. Lopes will participate in the launch the last of a series of yearly reports co-published by the African Union (AU), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) entitled, “Assessing Progress Toward the Millennium Development Goals in Africa”.

In addition to speaking at other events on environment, natural resource management and the investment climate in Africa to be held during the UN General Assembly, Mr. Lopes will participate in a major event organized jointly by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the African Union, the Economic Commission for Africa and the Office of the Special Advisor on Africa on the theme ‘Operationalization of the post-2015 Development Agenda for African Industrialization.’

These events are being preceded by a retreat of the African Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in New York held on 12 September at which Mr. Lopes emphasized the need for linkages between Africa’s Agenda 2063, the new Sustainable Development Agenda, the Climate Change negotiations and the centrality of financing Africa’s development.

The Common African Position recognizes rising trends such as population growth and the youth bulge, urbanization, climate change and inequalities. It reiterates the importance of prioritizing structural transformation for inclusive and people-centred development in Africa. It is an African Union (UN)-sponsored document. It received technical support from the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Regional Bureau for Africa, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Source UNECA
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Date 25 Sep 2015
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