Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
The international community has pledged to support implementation of these priorities.
“In the last fiveyears we have made much progress : Politically, the AU has been established, governance structures have been transformed, we have established the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) - the first of its kind ; economically, initiatives such as the Investment Climate Facility for Africa are encouraging governments to look more concertedly at institutional reforms to support private sector development.
“As a consequence of putting all these things in place and the massive efforts behind them, economic growth has leapt from 3% to over 5% growth across the continent. “However we do not have the luxury of resting on our laurels. African countries must achieve sustained 7% growth to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015,” Professor Mucavele concluded.
Business is key to beating poverty
During the course of the day, the stimulation of the private sector was singled out as the most effective way of lifting Africans out of poverty. Private sector development, driven by business, was determined to be the underlying force driving socio-economic development, via all the initiatives and programmes featured in the Bending the Arc programme. The best and most practical way to reduce poverty and improve living standards is to foster economic growth and create jobs, delegates concluded.
Significantly, since the inauguration of the Bending the Arc programme in 2005, it was noted that several milestones had been achieved, including : Debt forgiveness and a reversal in the decline of development assistance flows to Africa.Stronger engagement of Africa’s development partners, including the African Development Bank, World Bank group, European Union Commission, United Nations and NGOs, and greater involvement of Regional Economic Communities.
Greater emphasis on the role of the private sector in achieving development targets, including through the launch of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa - a valuable private public partnership to facilitate business in Africa and improve Africa’s investment profile.
A problem of perception
Increasing numbers of African countries are demonstrating growth. Mozambique’s GDP reached 10% in the first half of 2006, and the country is poised to exceed the ambitious yearly target growth rate of 7.3%. Yet these success stories remain untold. Despite some outstanding performances, Africa remains on the periphery of the radar screen for most investors. Globally, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in 2006 will reach $1.2 trillion, the first time since 2000 that global FDI will have surpassed the $1 trillion mark. Africa will receive only 2 or 3% of that investment.
The 2006 Bending the Arc summit identified specific areas requiring greater resources and better coordination, which delegates at the Bending the Arc summit agreed to support, including :
The African private sector’s contribution to raising awareness of the investment opportunities that the continent presents, supporting advocacy and communication initiatives which have the capacity to reach investors throughout the world and to shed light on business opportunities.
Recognition of the important role played today by China in world trade, and measures to encourage China to use Africa as a manufacturing platform for Chinese goods for re-export to the developed world.
The NEPAD Infrastructure Investment Facility (NIIF), which is an interlocking facility for private sector participation in infrastructure development, should be supported by donors, African institutions and international business, and provides a mechanism to massively ramp up investment in infrastructure from $15bn per annum to $40bn per annum, to achieve the MDGs.
Greater involvement of business in the AU/NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) was encouraged as a means to increase agricultural productivity (the agricultural sector employs nearly 80% of the African population).
Priority was also assigned to the crucial role of multinationals and large businesses, and the investments that they make in smaller businesses in their value chains.
Integration among African stock exchanges was encouraged, to enable them to exploit economies of scale through the use of technology, in order to better compete in a globalised market.
German presidency of G8 welcomed
Delegates welcomed the German presidency of the G8, and Germany’s commitment to focus on African socio-economic development at next year’s G8 Summit.
Delegates pledged to report on the initiatives they are pursuing in the framework of the Bending the Arc programme to improve and strengthen the social and economic conditions for accelerated and sustained growth in Africa, and looked forward to forging deeper relations with G8 partners in 2006/2007.
Source : nepad news, 22 septembre 2006