Africa: Reforming Global Financial Structures - Paving the Way for Financing for Sustainable Development in Africa

Leaders at the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-10) say this is the continent's message to the Summit of the Future to be held in September 2024 in New York

African ministers and senior officials at the tenth session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-10) have called for timely reform of the global financial institutions and architecture for sustainable development and financing for development in Africa.

This they say is the unified African message to the Summit of the Future to be held in September 2024 in New York. The message, which comprises commitments aligned with Africa's priorities is to be delivered as part of the planned pact of the future to be delivered at the Summit.

In their declaration on the effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions to reinforce the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 and to eradicate poverty in times of multiple crises released at the closing of ARFSD-10 in Addis Ababa, the ministers called upon the participants at the Summit of the Future to consider and adopt, as part of the planned pact of the future, the reforms for sustainable development and financing for development in Africa.

"The summit should ensure the timely reform of the global financial institutions and architecture to make them fit for purpose and able to serve the interests of Africa and developing countries elsewhere in the world," reads the declaration.

The declaration was agreed against the backdrop of the serious challenges being faced by African countries, including threats to inclusive, sustainable and resilient growth posed by conflict and instability, inadequate sustainable financing, debt stress, illicit financial flows, profit shifting, climate change, the loss of biodiversity, land degradation and pollution and human rights violations.

The declaration calls for the need to ensure the existence of global financing mechanisms that give African and other developing countries access to adequate and equitable concessional financing and to affordable market-based resources to accelerate sustainable development. In addition, there is a need to reform international tax governance.

The ministers also express their concern at how the continent is off track for meeting most targets of the SDGs and has even regressed on some, remaining home to 55 per cent of the world's population living below the poverty line, as noted in the issues paper on fostering recovery and transformation in Africa to reduce inequalities and vulnerabilities.

Delivering her closing remarks at the ARFSD-10, Hanan Morsy, Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of the Economic Commission for Africa, said Africa has an opportunity to reverse trends and accelerate action towards realizing the SDGs and the Africa We Want by ensuring access to basic social services, generating job creation, and putting in place social protection and safety nets to reduce vulnerabilities and inequalities.

She stressed that Africa cannot achieve the SDGs and Agenda 2063 without finances.

"Africa needs investments of $1.3 USD trillion a year to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and investments of over $3tn in mitigation and adaption alone in order to implement its Nationally Determined Contributions," said Ms. Morsy.

"The international community must also do its part and deliver on promises made as well as take deliberate actions to reform the international financial architecture; reform debt resolution mechanisms; and scale up affordable finance."

She also said that Africa must take its rightful leadership position in finding solutions to its development challenges.

The ministers expressed their concern at the serious challenges that African countries face in accessing climate finance and at the high cost that they pay to mobilize capital from the private sector for investment, despite the multiplicity of climate-related funds to finance climate projects in emerging economies and developing countries by 2030 to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

They urged the ECA and other entities of the UN system, the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and their partners to redouble efforts to revitalize institutions, policies, plans and programmes and channel finance to rescue the SDGs and accelerate the integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the second 10-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063.

Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ethiopia, Ramiz Alakbarov said a more tangible commitment is required from all partners in achieving SDGs. Emphasis should also be put on domestic resources for peace and development for the future of the continent," he added.

"Sound African solutions are needed to drive the change and more emphasis is needed on global and private partnerships."

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