Windhoek-Although African economies have registered strong economic growth in recent years, this growth is not inclusive, while poverty and inequality prevail. As a result, countries have been urged to fulfil their role towards good governance, emphasised the just ended African Economic Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The conference noted that “evidence shows that countries with limited transparent, accountable and responsible governments and institutions, or weak socioeconomic systems, have experienced slow progress in diversifying the economy.”
“Transformation of African economies cannot take place in a vacuum. It requires the concerted effort of government policies to provide the enabling environment for such transformations to take place,” said Célestin Monga, vice-president, economic governance and knowledge management and chief economist at the African Development Bank.
The conference, took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from December 4-6, with the theme, ‘Governance for Structural Transformation’. The African Development Bank launched the African Economic Conference in November 2006 to foster knowledge exchange across a broad network of researchers, civil society organisations, and policy and development practitioners.
The 2017 AEC is organised jointly by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The 2017 conference brought together policy-makers, researchers and development practitioners from Africa and around the world to make strategic contributions to the achievement of structural transformation in Africa with an emphasis on developmental governance.
“The goal of the 2017 African Economic Conference is to identify more specific governance policies and strategies for successful structural transformation, building on existing best practices and alternative African perspectives leading to structural transformation,” Monga said.
Indeed, unlocking the industrialization potential is one challenge that most African governments are grappling with today. There is growing recognition that governments have an important role to play in leading the industrialization process of their countries, framed by comprehensive and resolute industrial policy.
Some of the high-level participants at the conference include Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn,; United Nations Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Vera Songwe; Chairperson, African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat and the director of the Regional Service Centre for Africa of the United Nations Development Programme, Lamin Manneh.