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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

ECA tasks countries to access $13trn investment with transparent packages

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has urged member countries to put together, a better transparency package to access 13 trillion dollars of investment that was ready to boost economies.

Mrs Vera Songwe, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, ECA, said this at the opening of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, in Addis Ababa, on Monday.

The hybrid conference has as its theme: “Africa’s Sustainable Industrialisation and Diversification in the Digital Era in the Context of COVID-19”.

Songwe said that African economies needed to recover fast, adding that the commission and others in the private sector, had created a scheme by which the countries could access funds.

“I want to talk about the African bank which has been able to provide eight billion dollars to 470 banks in the last year to respond to the crisis.

“ECA and many others in the private sector have worked together to come up with a scheme to allow us create a liquidity and sustainability facility, by getting money from the private sector, particularly for markets, where we have 13 trillion dollars of investment that is ready.

“It will not come if Africa do not put together a better transparency package, better transparency on the illicit financial flows, and we need the financial community to work with you.”

The executive secretary called for additional “injections of liquidity” and investments into the African economy to get children back to schools, ensure reduction in poverty, job creation and economic growth.

“A lot of African countries are now using more of the Internet. Schools have access, but we know as studies in the African Development Bank and others have shown that Africa can invest in technology and our youths can use technology to the betterment of jobs and poverty reduction.

“And so we are asking again that some of those special drawing rights that go to the developed countries be on lend to the developing countries, emerging markets in Africa in particular, so that we can respond.”

She noted that Africa had done better in terms of its health response to COVID-19 compared to the developed countries.

“The data is sketchy and we are still going to get a few more of the data back. It has shown that Africa has not suffered and we have seen four million cases, 107,000 deaths and about 3.5 million recoveries. That is much better than most have seen.”

She, however, said Africa needed to recover green, noting that “we create actually more jobs if we build back green”.

Songwe also called on member countries to create value out of their resources and financial systems.

“We need the continent to also create value out of productivity. We need to make our factories work and services work better for our economies.

“This means that we need to do better in public financial management and the crowd in the private sector to work with us as we build an Africa that we want,” she said.

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