The 2nd African Economic Conference Ends in Addis Ababa

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  • More than 500 economists, researchers and policy-makers from around the world attended the event
  • "Science-based evidence can influence policy-making", says Kaberuka

Addis Ababa, 17 November 2007 – The 2nd African Economic Conference (AEC) jointly organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) ended on November 17, 2007, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after three days of profound reflections on development issues facing the continent.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, the AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, informed participants that they could influence policy-making in their different countries given the quality of papers and recommendations that were made during the conference which was necessary to step up the level of scientific thinking on the continent.

"I assure you that you can influence policy making," he told hundreds of researchers and economists from across the world, calling on them to look into how the growth agenda could help the continent attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) which the world adopted in 2000.

Regarding economic growth and prosperity on the continent, President Kaberuka said countries that were growing their economies were on track to achieving the MDGs, while those that were not growing their economies might not attain the MDGS.

He stressed that it was unlikely to achieve the MDGs with growth that was riding on the back of international aid. He called for the involvement of the private sector in the development of infrastructure on the continent. Infrastructure, he said, would help the continent in its development efforts.

Mr. Kaberuka used the occasion to thank the ECA and the government of Ethiopia for making the conference possible. He expressed the wish to see the next conference take place in the Bank Group’s headquarters in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The ECA Executive Secretary, Abdoulie Janneh, for his part, said the conference was "a meaningful and credible platform" which had brought together more than 500 economists, researchers and policy-makers from around the world to reflect on challenges facing the continent. The conference was an opportunity "to review and discuss African challenges and to give a credible voice to African researchers," he said.

 "We are committed to this platform," Mr. Janneh said. "We assure you that we will use our convening power and our good relations with African governments to ensure that presentations at the conference are considered in policy-making in African countries."