The presidents of Senegal and Ivory Coast as well as the Prime Minister of Cape Verde and Morocco are leading a large cache of African business and political leaders gathered at Marrakesh- one of the major cities of Morocco- to discuss and forge more economic cooperation among African countries.
Raising private equity, stemming illicit financial flows, brainstorming on domestic resource mobilisation, creating new partnerships and discussing climate financing in Africa are the top agendas of this year’s African Development Forum, which is in its ninth edition and organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
Speaking at the opening of the event which had in attendance the President of the Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, President of Senegal, Macky Sall, as well as the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, José Maria Neves as well as the Executive Secretary of the ECA, the host prime minister Abdelilah Benkirane described Africa as emerging “as a new pole of global growth”. He called for the continent’s leaders to consolidate on the trend by overhauling African economies, with a clear shift towards technology-intensive, high value added activities. However he admitted that to rise to that challenge the financial aspect is of great importance.
In response to addressing Africa’s financial challenge, ECA’s Executive Secretary Dr Carlos Lopes said the continent’s ability to strengthen, build and preserve capital in Africa is in line with Africa’s search for innovative financing mechanisms.
“In recent years, African Governments have taken an active role in changing the investment landscape. Aid is no longer the panacea. This shift is associated with evidence-based policies. Economic activity thrives at the confluence of multiple sources of capital. As we build Africa’s reputation in the global capital market, each success story establishes Africa as a destination for global capital flows. Driving them to transformational projects is what is expected from Governments that are strategic and focused,” he added.
Senegal’s President Sall, said traditional solutions in funding development was no longer effective in addressing the need of the continent as the aspiration of African people is not only to fight poverty but also to drive sustainable growth that will create employment and prosperity.
President Ouattara, added that Africa needs innovative financial instruments to develop its financial markets. “I am pleased that regional and national institutions are also looking at developing SMEs and informal sectors,” he enthused.
The ADF, which is being held outside Addis Ababa for the first time, is a flagship biennial event of the Economic Commission for Africa, and offers a multi-stakeholder platform for debating, discussing and initiating concrete strategies for Africa’s development.