Aid Effectiveness Conference: Africa’s Future Lies in Self-Reliance

06/11/2010
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Tunis, 5 November 2010 – Distinguished delegates drawn from African governments, international organizations, parliaments and civil society agreed on Friday, 5 November 2010 in Tunis that the time had come for African countries to rely more on their internal resources; such as taxation, the capital markets and better prices for their valuable commodities, and less on international aid for development.

The second Regional Meeting on Aid Effectiveness, jointly organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union and NEPAD, convened on 4 and 5 February 2010, in preparation for the fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, to be held in Busan, Korea, in November 2011.

The AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, opened the conference by saying Africa had to be less dependent on aid and make better use of its own resources.  He stated that African countries needed robust private sector growth to attract greater trade and foreign investment, and enable it to finance development from domestic revenue.  “However, to increase resource mobilization and broaden their tax base, African states need to persuade their citizens that their taxes are being used for public good”, he said.

Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, the CEO of NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency, said capacity development enabled better use of aid. “Capacity development is fundamental to securing African ownership and leadership of the continent’s development agenda.  Capacity development is a core enabler for growth and sustainable development”, he said.

Emmanuel Akwetey, the executive director of the Institute of Domestic Governance, stressed the importance of taxes for African development in a panel discussion.  “If you want us to rely less on donors then you have to pay more taxes”, he explained.  He stressed the need for greater transparency and accountability to build the trust of citizens.

Dalmas Otieno, Kenya’s public service minister, stressed the need for major investments in improving the quality of public administrations, based on clear strategies.

Cape Verde’s finance minister, Cristina Duarte, also stressed the need for home-grown solutions.  “Development cannot be outsourced”, she said.  She described the active learning process that had brought Cape Verde to the point of graduating from reliance on aid.

In his closing remarks, the AfDB’s Chief Operating Officer, Nkosana Moyo, echoed these sentiments, saying: “The organizers chose as the theme for this event ‘from aid effectiveness to development effectiveness’, and in the past two days we heard a strong affirmation of the need for home-grown solutions to Africa’s development challenges”.  

He added: “This is a vision of Africa’s development in which Africa is firmly in the driving seat, and aid is in a supporting role”.