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09.11.2019 Africa

Africa Challenged To Redefine Its Development Agenda Beyond Aid

By News Desk
Africa Challenged To Redefine Its Development Agenda Beyond Aid
LISTEN NOV 9, 2019

Accra, 7 November 2019: His Excellency, Nana Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana, urged African countries to take charge of their destiny and not to allow national budgets to be over-dependent on aid.

He was speaking at a High-Level Dialogue organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the Government of Ghana.

The event themed "Africa's Money for African Development: A Future Beyond Aid", explored how Africa can optimize the use of its resources, creativity and innovation to finance the continent's development agenda and ambition effectively.

"Africa beyond aid is about mutual benefit, and we must change our perspective to collectively stand on our own feet and forge stronger partnerships that serve Africa's interests," he noted.

Globally, Africa presents some of the brightest growth prospects, with six out of the 12th fastest growing economies in the world: Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Mozambique, Tanzania and Rwanda. While in the last decade, African economies have been growing at an average rate of 4.7%, there remains a challenge of creating jobs and designing agile responses for inclusive development.

The dialogue looked at how Africa can innovatively capitalize on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which marks an important point, pivoted by an opportunity to accelerate intra-African trade, regional integration and to take advantage of the emerging Fourth Industrial Revolution.

African business and private sector leaders were encouraged to invest in the continent especially young people and create jobs opportunities and safeguard Africa's wealth by supporting local entrepreneurs to evolve from informal to formal structures of doing business. This is to ensure that regional and global initiatives adequately support sustained economic development that would deliver prosperity, opportunity and stability for all citizens.

"We need a new perspective that shifts the focus from aid as life-support to effectively invest Africa's resources and wealth to transform the continent's development. Correctly used development assistance could be a catalyst for broad-based economic growth and development; and, deliver prosperity, self-reliance, opportunity and stability for all citizens", noted Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Director for Africa, UNDP.

In his remarks, His Majesty Dr. Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, King of Toro Kingdom added that "we want an Africa that is united and prosperous, inspired by a new narrative that shifts the perception of Africans towards taking ownership and becoming the architects of our own development agenda."

The cross-disciplinary interactions at the High-Level Dialogue are expected to shape UNDP's strategic offer for Africa and enhance programme design for development. Besides, development partners were urged to realign their strategic development agenda for Africa, to get Africa out of aid. This is to reverse the mentality that views foreign assistance as a permanent life support mechanism, to an enabler to take Africa to the next level.

Pragmatically, in positioning Africans to take ownership and champion the continent's development agenda, UNDP unveiled a 15-member super-group of its African Influencers for Development initiative, recently launched during the 74th UN General Assembly in New York. UNDP also presented a digital data platform, the African Business Map, which showcases innovative business ventures across a wide range of sectors and regions, to support investment and promote private sector partnerships.

The insights from the High-Level Dialogue will trigger useful debates and discussions beyond the event to influence evolving governance models that can support Africa's development and transformation. Further, ideas from the talks will contribute towards the implementation of the new AfCFTA Resource Centre in Accra, Ghana.

Members of the African Influencers Super Group

1. Ali Mufuruki - Founder, Infotech Investment Group

2. Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu - Founder, SoleRebels 3. Njideka Harry - Founder & CEO, Youth for Technology Foundation

4. Rob Shuter, President & CEO, MTN Group 5. Samaila Zubairu - President & CEO, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)

6. Prof. Benedict Oramah - President, Afreximbank 7. Samba Bathily - Founder and CEO, ADS 8. Dr Eleni Gabre-Madhin - Chief Happiness Officer, blueMoon

9. Temitope Shonubi - Co-founder and Executive Director of Sahara Group

10. Admassu Tadesse - President & CEO, Trade Development Bank

11. Tiguidanke Camara - Chairman & CEO Tigui Mining Group

12. Dr Edem Adzogenu - Chair, Executive Committee, AfroChampions

13. Kunle Adeyemi - Founder, NLE Architects & Creator, Makoko Floating School

14. Temie Giwa-Tubosun - CEO, Lifebank 15. Chiwetel Umeadi Ejiofor, Actor, Writer and Director

About UNDP UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in some 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. More details on the dialogue available at