TICAD: The enduring relevance of a unique policy forum - an Op-Ed by RBA Director Abdoulaye Mar Dieye

13 Jun 2016 by Abdoulaye Mar Dieye

The two fundamental principles of TICAD – international partnership and African ownership – have been reaffirmed time and again.
Less than 90 days separate us from the Sixth Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD) which will be held in Nairobi on 27 and 28 August 2016. TICAD VI is expected to draw more than 6000 participants from governments, international organizations, civil society and private sector organizations. What precisely is TICAD? It was instituted in 1993 to advocate for and foster international partnerships for African development under the joint leadership of Japan, the United Nations and then Global Coalition for Africa. Current co-organizers are Japan, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank (since TICAD III), the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa and most recently the African Union Commission (since TICAD V). TICAD came into being in the midst of what has been dubbed as the “lost development decades”, the bleak 80s and 90s, a time when the continent was beset by the painful constraints of structural adjustments programmes, unable to catch a break, and when Japan was in throes of a two-decades-long  deflation rut. With the End of the Cold War, major donors with the notable exception of Japan, were questioning the relevance of development aid to Africa. What started out as just another high-level … Read more

Africa’s head start on implementing global goals - an Op-Ed by RBA Director Abdoulaye Mar Dieye

10 Jun 2016

There is a high degree of convergence between the SDGs and Agenda 2063, in part due to the Common African Position, which preceded formulation of these Global Goals.
The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on September 25, 2015, at the 70th United Nations General Assembly marked the beginning of the difficult task of translating the new global agenda into action. These ambitious and transformative goals, known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – will set the parameters for the global development agenda for the next 15 years. Yet an implementation dilemma is unfolding as each region and country grapples with the challenges of rolling out a global development framework while tailoring it to respond to specific development contexts. The SDGs – with their 17 goals and 169 targets – demonstrate the scale and ambition of the new agenda. It is global, rather than focusing on developing countries. The intention is nothing less than to transform systemic and structural barriers to development at the heart of global economy. However, the relevance of each goal will vary from country to country (and region to region) depending on particular development priorities and challenges. This represents a massive coordination problem. Africa has an advantage. Through Agenda 2063 – a 50-year development action plan adopted by all members of the African Union – continent-wide priorities for development have already been defined. … Read more

What does it take to meet Africa’s trade integration target?

27 May 2016

By Degol Hailu, Senior Advisor and Chinpihoi Kipgen, Research Associate, UNDP   The target of Agenda 2063 of the African Union is to see: “intra-Africa trade growing from less than 12% in 2013 to approaching 50% by 2045”. To meet this target, intra-regional trade not only needs to grow, but the sophistication of the products traded must be enhanced. For instance, from 1965 to 1990, intra-regional trade among the Asian Tigers plus China, Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia averaged 29% of their total trade. Intra-regional trade actually grew at a slightly higher average rate of 18% per year compared to 15% for extra-regional trade (trade with countries outside the group). Currently, extra-regional trade from this group of countries is just 1.7 times greater than intra-regional trade. Moreover, as a result of developed regional value chains and industrial networks, intra-regional imports of intermediate goods represent more than 50% of total imports. Intra-regional trade between the Asian countries also grew in sophistication. Today, manufactured goods make up about 70% of the total trade. Intra-regional trade in high-skill and technology intensive manufactures is among the highest in the world, accounting for 50% of regional trade. Can African economies achieve such remarkable integration? The good news … Read more

The missing element in Africa’s industrialization agenda

29 Apr 2016 by Degol Hailu

African countries are eager to industrialize rapidly. For instance, in the African Union’s Agenda 2063, Members States cannot wait to see the day “their economies are structurally transformed to create shared growth, decent jobs and economic opportunities for all”. The African Mining Vision (AMV) would like to see “a mining sector that has become a key component of a diversified, vibrant and globally competitive industrializing African economy”. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) recently released a Report on how Africa can industrialize. The Report says: “We have a real opportunity to promote economic transformation through the industrialization process, by capitalizing on the continent’s abundant natural resources, adding value to them, while also supporting the development of infant industries.” The UNECA Report succinctly outlines the policy measures that lead to industrialization. For instance, the Report provides evidence on how today’s rich countries have used industrial policy when they were developing. How emerging countries such as Brazil and Malaysia adopted industrial polices successfully. And how developing countries such as Ethiopia and Vietnam are today pursuing vigorous industrial policies. The Report argues that, in each of the country cases, active state intervention supported the growth in manufacturing activities. The Report also emphasizes … Read more

Global Climate Finance - Will Africa Benefit After Paris?

21 Apr 2016 by Daisy Mukarakate

UNDP is supporting a number of countries to develop GCF concept notes and funding proposals and to access GCF Readiness Funds for removal of barriers to direct access.
For the first time in the 25-year history of climate diplomacy, countries concluded a universal treaty under international law – the December 2015 Paris Agreement - rekindling lost hope on a collective and genuine effort to tackle climate change. African countries, along with the rest of the world, submitted national climate pledges also known as intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), aimed at stabilizing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration in the atmosphere to a level that does not pose a danger to life on earth. While Africa is the lowest contributor of global emissions, it is the most vulnerable continent to climate change with majority of its population relying on the land for subsistence and economic activity. According to the 2015 UN Environment Programme’s Adaptation Gap Report, Africa could require between US$20 -30 billion dollars annually over the next 10-20 years to meet its climate change adaptation needs. As such there is a need for developed countries to ramp up financial contributions, and on the other hand, for support to African countries to access global climate finance. The Paris Agreement provides the basis for this support. Article 9 paragraph 1 states “Developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties … Read more

Navigating the bumpy road from Paris

20 Apr 2016 by Angela Lusigi and Ishmael Dodoo

The topic of this blog will be debated at the upcoming Maendeleo Africa Debates in New York. Please submit your comments and queries below or via Twitter using the hashtag #MaendeleoForum. Hemingway once said, “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” On April 22nd 2016 in New York, over 130 nations are expected to sign the long-awaited Paris Agreement and begin the journey to limit global warming.  This agreement reinforces the global Agenda 2030 that aims to eradicate multiple dimensions of poverty and improve people’s lives, through equitable and inclusive pathways to prosperity, within the planet’s ecological boundaries.  This is the first stop on the road from Paris where in December 2015, over 200 nations agreed to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels. The ideal target is to keep temperature rise below 1.5°C (2.7°F). This implies significant cuts in greenhouse emission and a transformation in our global consumption and production patterns with consequences for Africa’s present and future growth trajectories. Africa’s journey is navigated by its common Africa position on climate change which was effectively used to push for a climate change … Read more