Africa needs to step back from outdated economic model, ECA says

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Africa needs to resist the continuing economic model that is benefiting outsiders more than local populations if the continent is to successfully implement Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 for sustainable Development, Acting Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa Abdalla Hamdok stated during the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) that was held this week in Addis Ababa.

“It is high time that the continent really changed this outdated model which we inherited from colonial rule, of continuing to export raw materials and primary commodities. Africa has to take a bold decision and say to itself ‘stop exporting raw materials’. We have to add value to our commodities and that is the surest way of creating decent jobs, addressing unemployment and related issues,” said Hamdok.

Furthermore, Hamdok said that Africans should take advantage of the current protectionism debate in the West and concentrate on increasing trade and investments amongst themselves for the betterment of its people. “Many have seen this as an alarming signal but I see it as an opportunity which will allow us to develop our intra-Africa trade,” he said.

Present at the Forum was also Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity Seleshi Bekele who underlined that the theme of the meeting “Ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth and prosperity for all” will be meaningless unless Africa addresses the vulnerabilities of the continent.

“Inclusiveness, citizen participation, peace and security are key pillars for the achievement of the development agendas,” the Minister said. He further added that good governance and leadership were also crucial ingredients to a peaceful and prosperous Africa.

He applauded the ECA for partnering with Ethiopia, through its finance ministry in the area of statistics, which he said will allow the country to monitor and track progress in the implementation of its developmental priorities.

The Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) was carried out in preparation for the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) that will be held in New York in July under the backing of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) under the theme; “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”.

The ARFSD tracks progress in the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.