From the Editor’s Keyboard

A call for African Finance Ministers

1 March 2024 at 17:32 | 752 views

African finance leaders are expected to discuss, draft and present solutions on the continent’s economic challenges as they meet this week for the Economic Commission for Africa Conference of Ministers Finance, Planning and Economic Development to be held on February 28 to -March 5, in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The upcoming conference is timely considering the recent seat allocation of the African Union (AU) on the G20 and the upcoming World Bank International Development Association (IDA21) forum in April hosted by Kenya.

With an increase in demands for a just and fair global finance architecture, often highlighting the partiality that Africa continues to suffer due to, the injustice in the credit rating system, low representation in the global financial system governance, accessing adequate and timely resources to finance the transition towards green economies and the negative effects arising from climate change, growing debt levels, and conflict among others. The conference, which will converse on the theme, Financing the transition to inclusive green economies in Africa: imperatives, opportunities and policy options, will address the challenges African countries are facing with the aspiration of finding progressive and pioneering solutions.

Serah Makka (photo), ONE’s Executive Director for Africa, said: “As part of the call for reform is a demand for tripling the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) — the world’s largest source of affordable finance for developing countries. IDA has a long track record of assisting the most vulnerable countries, most of which are in Africa, through crises and remains a lifeline for millions of people. An investment in IDA is an investment in Africa’s future. IDA funds are important to Africa for several reasons; it is demand-driven where African countries determine how to tailor these funds based on its development needs. The concessional nature of IDA funding makes it highly favourable in a rising interest rate environment, and its rapid responsiveness to crises sets it apart, with the ability to be deployed in just 3 months - a stark contrast to the 18-48 months observed for traditional World Bank loans..”

In particular, ONE is calling on:

African Ministers of Finance to make a powerful and persuasive case to triple the financing basket of the International Development Association (IDA) to reach $279 billion by 2030, which has been endorsed by the G20 Independent Experts Group—convened under the auspices of last year’s G20 Indian Presidency— based on an analysis of needs. African Ministers should build on and champion this call throughout this year’s IDA21 replenishment process.
African Ministers of Finance and Planning to continue to advocate for reforms that will provide countries with much-needed low-cost financing. Revamping multilateral development banks so they are better, bigger, and more responsive to countries’ needs is essential.
To capitalize on the AU’s membership in the G20 that provides the continental body with an important platform to champion calls for fairer governance structures within Multilateral Development Banks to reflect Africa’s growing importance and call for IDA to be on the agenda in every G20 convenings.
Increase citizen participation in the deployment of funds within our African countries. This provides a strong incentive to increase the call for funds and confidence in how the funds are deployed by Africans.

About The ONE Campaign:

ONE is a global organization campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, so that everyone, everywhere can lead a life of dignity and opportunity. We are nonpartisan and pressure governments to do more to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, and empower citizens to hold their governments to account. Read more at www.one.org.

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