Addis Ababa — All is set for the launch of the Economic Report on Africa - ERA2019 - which examines institutional and policy reforms that are needed to enable African countries to maximize domestic public resource mobilization to finance the continent's development agenda.
Speaking two days before the Economic Commission for Africa's annual Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Mr. Adam Elhiraika, Director of the ECA's Macroeconomic and Governance Division, said ERA2019 explores opportunities for African countries to mobilize more resources through fiscal policy in particular.
Africa, he said, has a huge financing gap estimated at 11-13 percent of GDP per annum and ERA2019 identifies several quick wins in the continent's pursuit of additional fiscal space to finance achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the aspirations of the continent's 50-year development plan, Agenda 2063.
"To achieve these two agendas Africa needs to increase its domestic investment rate to 30-35 percent of annual GDP and triple its 3.2 percent growth rate to about 20 percent per annum," said Mr. Elhiraika.
He said African countries can increase government revenue by 12-20 percent of GDP by strengthening revenue mobilization in six key areas; fiscal policy options, tax policy options, non-tax revenue options, tax administration options, policy options for the natural resource sector and debt policy options.
"The launch of the ERA2019 and the theme of CoM2019 provide a very important opportunity for participants, including ministers of finance and high level experts, to examine the recommendations of the report and to exchange ideas on what they are doing at country levels within and outside Africa," the ECA Director said.
"The key message is that in Africa we have a challenge of financing the SDGs but this challenge is not insurmountable, it can be addressed with serious, focused efforts to mobilize more domestic revenue through fiscal policy."
The launch event on 23 March, 2019, will provide a platform for robust discussions and assessment of fiscal performance in Africa with ECA experts sharing identified opportunities and challenges to mobilize financial resources through fiscal instruments, and provide a specific package of policy options and recommendations aimed at increasing tax and nontax revenues in Africa.