ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AMA)- The Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union will once again convene Ministers of Finance and Economy for their annual Conference of Ministers meetings. The meetings have become an important platform to discuss the most critical African Developmental issues. This year’s theme is centred around Agenda 2063, the masterplan for African Development and the newly agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
African leaders, along with other world leaders, recommitted themselves to implementing a more sustainable development pathway through Agenda 2030. African Union Member States also demonstrated their commitment to the continental Agenda 2063. Critical issues to be discussed at the African Development Week will explore how best to formulate a more integrated and coherent approach to implementing, monitoring and evaluating these important development agendas which will chart the direction for Africa’s future.
23 side events will be taking place on the sidelines of the ministerial meetings, which will also see the launch of some of the ECA’s flagship reports. These include the ECA country profiles, providing a detailed analysis of a country’s macroeconomic and investment profile and the launch of the African Regional Integration Index.
The Index, a collaboration between ECA, the African Union and the African Development Bank, will rank countries in terms of how economically integrated they are within a region. Regional integration is a key development priority for Africa and the report is the first systematic, continent-wide instrument for measuring the progress made by the 54 African countries in implementing the continent’s regional integration frameworks. The report says “Africa’s integration journey towards a more connected, competitive and business-friendly continent is underway and its roadmap is, in some areas, under construction. Africa’s Regional Integration Index is an action tool measuring the progress of an Africa on the move.”
Among the other thematic issues to be discussed will be the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and implementation of the SDGs. In addition, a number of sectoral issues will be covered, including industrialisation, regional integration, migration, energy and banking, as well as better collection and use of data and statistics.
There will also be an interesting and important discussion around corruption and governance. The Africa Governance Report on Measuring Corruption in Africa to be presented during the ADW argues that current approaches for measuring corruption are predominantly perception-based and completely ignore the international dimension of corruption in Africa. The report urges African countries to engage in improving their own governance agenda, rather than undertaking the futile exercise of naming and shaming one another because of the given perception levels of corruption.
The ADW also includes the Annual Adedeji Lecture. Dr Adebayo Adedeji was head of the ECA between 1975 to 1978 and was instrumental in raising the institution’s profile and work on Africa. This year’s lecture will be delivered by Ha-Joon Chang, renowned Development Economist and author of ‘Kicking Away the Ladder’ and ’23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism, and Economics’. The inaugural lecture was delivered by Donald Kaberuka, former President of the African Development Bank during the 2015 Conference of Ministers in Addis Ababa.
African Media Agency.