ECA calls for accelerated actions & interventions towards addressing LLDCs’ special challenges

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The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) participated in the Annual Ministerial Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries and highlighted the need for sustained and consistent support to LLDCs on the African continent.
In her remarks, ECA Executive Secretary Vera Songwe said Africa is home to the majority of the world’s LLDCs which continue to face peculiar trade and development challenges arising from their lack of territorial access to the sea and geographical remoteness from international markets affecting their quest for economic development.
“LLDCs suffer from lack of competitiveness of both their exports and imports, as well as reduction in the purchasing power of their populations, leaving them worse off in comparison to non-LLDCs,” said Songwe.
She said if ever there was a time when multilateralism was needed, it was now, especially as the dreaded coronavirus continues to rear its ugly head the world over affecting global supply chains.
“We need multilateralism to provide consistent and sustained support for the LLDCs. They have more special needs than non-LLDCs,” said Songwe, adding the COVID-19 had underscored the need for a strengthened multilateralism going forward.
“Africa’s infrastructure deficit, including resultant high costs of logistics, remains a primary constraint to growth. Regarding energy infrastructure for example, only 30 per cent of people living in the African LLDCs had access to electricity in 2017, lagging behind all LLDCs and the world.”