Addis Ababa — The annual Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (CoM) is a great opportunity for Africa's ministers and experts from around the world to have in-depth discussions on current issues that are of relevance to the continent's economic development, says a senior Economic Commission for Africa official.
Speaking ahead of the CoM that begins Wednesday in Marrakesh, Morocco, African Centre for Statistics Director, Oliver Chinganya, said such in-depth discussions can help the continent come up with impactful solutions that can help to uplift Africa's economies.
"This is really key for us as a continent, especially as we have slightly over 10 years left now for us to meet the global sustainable development goals and ensure that no-one is left behind by the development process," he said.
Mr. Chinganya said this week's CoM was particularly important as it touches on three critical areas; fiscal policy, trade and the private sector in the digital era.
He said the conference also allows the ECA to showcase what it can do for member States on the continent, some who are struggling and lagging behind others.
"It is also an opportunity to improve the ECA's engagement with the continent so together we can chart the way forward to a better Africa, especially now when we really have to accelerate the development of our economies through digitization," said Mr. Chinganya.
"And for us statisticians it becomes very important because we have to ensure that there is data that informs fiscal policies on the continent. We have to come up with better methodologies using modern technologies to help our governments in this digitization process; in improving revenue collection; and sharing best practices, among others."
He said countries that are doing well and those that are lagging behind will be able to learn from each other during the conference, allowing others to leapfrog and do even better.
"If we can get our digitization right, this will give us an opportunity to move a little bit faster in terms of the continent's economic development," said Mr. Chinganya.
The CoM is the ECA's largest annual event and provides an opportunity for participants to debate key issues on Africa's development, and to discuss the think tank's performance in delivering on its mandate.
CoM will this year be held on the theme: "Fiscal policy, trade and the private sector in the digital era: A strategy for Africa" and runs from 20-26 March.