" ITREALMS: Survey rates Africa low in receiving aids for development


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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Survey rates Africa low in receiving aids for development

Recent survey by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has rated Africa low receiving aids to finance development in line with the 2002 implementation of the Monterrey Consensus.

ECA in a press statement made available to the Highway Africa News Agency (HANA) endorsed by the Information and Communication Service, stated that the survey of African policymakers was conducted in March and April 2007 to gauge their views on the degree of progress in meeting the goals of the Monterrey Consensus.

The outcome which coincided with a two-day high-level biennial review of the United Nations General Assembly Plenary in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, informed that the overall found showed that while significant progress was made in the area of external debt relief, performances in other areas have declined, thus disappointing.

The survey pointed out that considerable efforts are required by both African governments and development partners to mobilize the level of resources needed for development in the region.

Highlight of the findings, according to ECA included that governments are making efforts to mobilize domestic resources, but savings rates in African countries remain inadequate relative to their investment requirements.

Also, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow has increased, but it is still insufficient, and too concentrated in the natural resources sector, to help accelerate economic growth and development. Just as most countries have policies in place to attract private capital flows, but response from foreign investors has so far been muted.

Exports, the survey noted have increased in recent years, even as respondents believed that donors have not made much progress in supporting African countries in the area of trade.

Official Development Assistance (ODA) flows to Africa, the survey pointed out, are on the increase, however, donors are still not on track to meet their commitments, adding that recent aid flows also tend to be concentrated in a few countries and social sectors cutting across emergency aid and debt relief.

While there has been a significant reduction in the external debt burden of African countries as a result of recent debt relief initiatives, just as more debt relief needs to be provided.

“Governments also need to exercise caution in borrowing to ensure that debts in African countries remain sustainable,” a part of the survey read.

HANA recalls that the Monterrey Consensus adopted at the International Conference on Financing for Development in 2002 was the first global attempt to comprehensively address the challenges of financing development, especially in the context of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Consensus calls for a new partnership between developed and developing countries covering six main areas of action, such as mobilizing domestic financial resources, attracting international financial resources based on private capital flows, promoting international trade as an engine for development, increasing international financial and technical cooperation for development, sustainable debt financing and external debt relief; as well as addressing systemic issues.

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