Africa Development Week opens in Dakar

Africa Development Week opens in Dakar

The African development week ,which opened on Thursday in Dakar, Senegal, called on African governments to adopt coherent strategies and national deve...

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The African development week ,which opened on Thursday in Dakar, Senegal, called on African governments to adopt coherent strategies and national development plans to address the continent’s challenges of inequality.

Giovanne Biha, the Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), made the call while opening the event, the communications section of the ECA said in a statement.

The week opened with the 10th Joint Annual Meetings of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration.

The meeting also involves the ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

The 10th Annual Meetings will deliberate on “Growth, inequality and Unemployment”.

Biha said that the absence of decent jobs for young Africans had fueled outward migration, both within and from Africa.

She also said that this had resulted in tragic loss of lives as young people attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea in search for greener pastures.

According to Biha, since 2017 is the year of harnessing Africa’s demographic dividend through investment in the youth, more needs to be done by all stakeholders to promote investment in job creation and human capital development.

She said that discussions on unemployment in Africa were not new, adding that it was now time for action on the ground.

Mr Anthony Maruping, Economic Affairs Commissioner, African Union Commission (AUC), said it was symbolic that the meeting was taking place in Senegal from where Africans were forcibly taken to work as slaves in America and Europe.

“We are in the right place to come up and work on strategies to make sure our young people do not voluntarily and involuntarily leave the continent to look for opportunities elsewhere.

“We need to grow Africa and the time to do so is now,” Maruping said.

He also said that Agenda 2063 was seeking to achieve accelerated, stable, inclusive and real economic job-creating growth in Africa and that no form of poverty was acceptable.

He urged the continent to work hard to eradicate all inequalities.

Senegal’s Budget Minister, Mr Birima Mangara, at the meeting of experts, said his country was doing all it could to structurally transform its economy for the benefit of every citizen.

He said inequalities and youth unemployment were being tackled as well as other related problems that led to poverty, adding that youths and women on the continent should be prioritised in job creation.

Mangara lauded the ECA, the AUC and their partners for convening a meeting to specifically tackle growth, inequalities and unemployment on the continent.

“It is these meetings which serve as outstanding platforms to discuss Africa’s problems and I am convinced that the debates will lead to far-reaching recommendations that are important for the future development of our dear Africa.”

The conference will explore measures to reduce inequality and extreme poverty on the continent.

This is in order to achieve the targets of the First 10-Year Implementation Plan (2013-2023) of Agenda 2063 and the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, among other issues.

The meeting will end on March 28.