The African Development Bank 2013 Annual Report, published on May 21 in Kigali, states that Africa has made some progress towards Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly with regard to reductions in maternal and infant mortality, education for all and the improvement of gender equality. However, countries are turning to the post-MDG programme, which focuses on economic inclusion and structural transformation.
In 2011, the Bank, the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) started consultations on the post-2015 development agenda.
The common position defined for Africa focuses on four elements: structural transformation and green growth; innovation and technology transfer; development of human capital; and sustainable financing and partnerships.
When it comes to structural economic transformation and inclusive, green growth, economic growth should be at the service of the people and it should be diverse; it should promote environmentally friendly activities and aim to reduce inequality through the integration of poor populations into productive sectors.
In this regard, the AfDB says that Africa will gain considerably from creating an environment favourable to industrialisation by developing value chains in every sector, by promoting the development of the private sector, and by encouraging the transformation of the informal sector. Fairness should be measured by means of indicators using disaggregated outcomes, to be built into objectives.
As far as innovation and technology transfer are concerned, access to energy and ICT is essential for the continent’s economic and social transformation, just as with basic infrastructure. Africa must not miss out on technological and digital innovation, particularly in the fields of mobile technology, cloud computing, biotechnology, and e-governance, if it wants to expand opportunities for business.
With regard to the development of human capital, equality, improving food security, social protection and health for all, ensuring decent housing and access to water, sanitation and hygiene, gender equality and the eradication of poverty should be priority goals.
According to the AfDB 2013 Annual Report, it is essential to implement comprehensive policies which provide for capacity building and promote programmes of studies to meet the needs of the employment market to help young people secure decent, well-paid jobs. To do this, it will be important to gauge the quality of education and services offered, while placing particular emphasis on strengthening key skills relevant to the labour market.
Finally, turning to financing and partnerships, implementation of a post-2015 development programme requires adequate funding and a favourable global environment. Aid flows continue to decline in relative terms and new forms of development assistance are needed. So as to no longer to depend on aid and world partnerships, Africa should focus more on attracting domestic and foreign investment and on mobilising its internal revenues.
The accent should be placed on strengthening financial intermediation, on broadening the tax base and improving revenue generation capacity through innovative financing mechanisms, the reduction of illegal movements of capital and the optimal use of existing resources.