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The 20th edition of the Forum on Africa (#AfricaForum), co-organised by the African Union Commission and the OECD Development Centre, under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, President of Senegal, focused on "Investing for a Sustainable Recovery in Africa".

Click to download the full conclusions and recommendations

Overview

To ensure a sustainable global economic recovery, the priority is to quickly win the battle against coronavirus around the world.

How can we achieve this?

1) The international community must aim to ensure equitable and timely distribution of vaccines against COVID-19 and enable 60% of Africa’s population to be vaccinated.

2) Africa should sustainably strengthen fiscal and monetary measures, with the priority of channelling liquidity to vulnerable households and social groups, SMEs and high-impact sectors.

Despite a relatively limited spread of the virus in 2020, no less than 41 African economies suffered a recession, compared to only 11 countries during the 2009 global financial crisis. This shock is likely to weaken many precarious households in the long term, most of which are dependent on the informal economy. One year after the start of the pandemic, an additional 30 million people in Africa are at risk of falling into extreme poverty.


3) The African Union Commission should form the most relevant partnerships for mutual learning and good practice exchange among countries on how best to support the most vulnerable individuals, households and enterprises, and on expanding social protection.

The time has come for a "New deal for development”: only through co-ordinated action at a continental and global level, can we reduce economic vulnerability and face this global shock.

How can we achieve this?

4) African governments should work to effectively and rapidly implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and priority projects of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) to strengthen regional value chains and reduce vulnerability to external shocks. 

Issues related to the digital economy and transformation will have to be an integral part of this "New Deal for development". The current momentum for innovation can contribute to resilience building in response to COVID-19 and facilitate the global economic recovery, if public policies are designed in everyone’s interest.


5) African governments should adopt public policies aimed at transforming economies, creating quality jobs and enabling African countries to benefit from their demographic dividend.

The resounding success of talented young entrepreneurs and technological innovation hubs across the continent shows that the young population can be a driver of change for many countries in the coming decades. 


6) Pan-African institutions and Regional Economic Communities should set up spaces for consultation as well as formal mechanisms to identify and strengthen regional complementarities in high-potential value chains to support the implementation of the AfCFTA.

Between 2000 and 2018, the African continent had the second highest economic growth rate in the world, averaging 4.6 per cent, behind Asia (7.2 per cent). This pre-COVID-19 African economic growth was largely driven by domestic demand.


7) Partners and the international community should scale up support for Africa's self-chosen agenda for transformation.

African governments are facing the COVID-19 pandemic with lower financial resources per capita than they did during the 2008 global financial crisis. It is therefore essential to act swiftly, using all levers to ensure sufficient external and domestic resource mobilisation for development financing.


8) African governments should strengthen international co-operation on tax practices to better combat illicit financial flows, as well as on debt treatments. 

9) The international community should take concrete action to accelerate progress for the G20 initiative on debt restructuring, including reallocating unused Special Drawing Rights or creating new Special Drawing Rights for cash-strapped countries, debt restructuring and, in some cases, full debt cancellation to meet urgent financing needs.

A strong and coordinated multilateral system, with a reformed global economic and financial governance, is essential to find systemic and sustainable solutions that can support governments, generate innovative and coherent responses and increase co-operation between different policy communities in the context of multiple crises.


10) The international community should reform the international tax system, as a matter of urgency, to adapt to our transnational economy, to build a fair and equitable information exchange and international taxation system, and to avoid the risk of new uncoordinated tax measures. 



Progress Made

The participants in the Forum:

  • welcome and encourage the fruitful co-operation between the African Union (AU) and the OECD, through its Development Centre, which produces the annual Africa's Development Dynamics and Revenue Statistics in Africa flagship reports, as well as this International Economic Forum on Africa. We encourage them to extend this partnership to the topics covered in this year’s edition of the Forum, particularly the theme of investment for productive transformation and quality infrastructure.

  • welcome the G20 initiative on debt restructuring. The debt service moratorium offers African countries some respite, but is not enough to ensure an adequate response to the pandemic and a sustainable recovery.

  • have decided, through mutual agreement, to act to change international tax rules, particularly by making fundamental changes to the allocation of taxing rights in order to correct the current imbalance that works in favour of developed countries (residents) at the expense of developing countries (sources).

  • encourage the international community to move forward in an inclusive way to achieve a long-term multilateral, consensus-based solution to the fiscal challenges brought by the digitalisation of the economy.
 

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Watch the short Highlights video

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