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African countries have been asked to look within themselves to mobilize resources for development because the resources are available.
During “The Future of Financing for Development in Africa” session at the 50th Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, Monday, May 25, 2015, two of the speakers reiterated the need for African countries to develop the capacity to mobilize resources locally instead of looking to raise financing for development from outside their countries.
Emmanuel Nnadozie of the Africa Capacity Development Foundation (ACDF) indicated that at least if African countries strengthened their tax collection capacities, as much as $500 million can be mobilized. Other areas include the stock market, and sovereign bond market, he said.
He noted that African countries need to build sustainable capacity in resource mobilization and countries need capacity in knowledge and information access.
He also said countries need capacity in leaders and to be able to halt illicit financial flows out of the continent that is currently estimated to cost the continent some $50 billion.
According to Nnadozie, corruption also costs the continent a large amount of money, and can lead to institutional collapse, emphasizing that it is therefore necessary for countries of the continent to fight it, considering, however, that there is also the need to build capacity of countries to fight corruption.
During his intervention, Olukorede Adenowo, Co-Head, Financial Institutions, Africa, at Standard Chartered Bank, said not too long ago Africa struggled with perceptions like poverty, instability and so on. He indicated that the continent has been able to overcome these perceptions, but still has to deal with vulnerability in macroeconomics and volatility of other countries.
He therefore called for transparency, robust governance and strong justice systems in the continent and the enabling of tax collection systems to rake in more financing from within for development.
According to him, intra-African trade is another means that the continent can raise more domestic financing and urged countries to enhance trade with and amongst each other.
Adenowo urged African countries to look at import substitution and product diversification as sources of mobilizing domestic resources for development.
Former AfDB President Babacar Ndiaye (1985-1995) challenged African leaders to show some morality and spirituality, not religion, and to stop enriching themselves at the expense of their people.
“How do you feel when you are accumulating wealth and by that you are putting your countrymen and -women in a state of poverty?” he asked.