Africa Needs Specific Policies for Development

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Amid widespread growth of social inequalities on the African continent giving majority status to the poor, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other international partners, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are calling on African leaders to develop and adopt specific policies to address the issue of inequality.

At a recently held International Conference on the Emergence of Africa in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the AfDB and partners noted that though Africa is experiencing economic growth, many still cannot feel the impact, calling on African governments to address inequality by adopting policies that will be implemented through definite political will.

President Macky Sall of Senegal, during the conference conceded that resources were not being equally distributed for everyone to feel the impact.

Based on this, President Sall said, “We have to find a way of ensuring that everyone, including the poor, have access to resources.”

In like manner, Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) stressed that reaching the expected level requires the need for African governments to adopt specific policies that will improve human development standards.

A release from the AfDB noted that the three-day conference served as a platform for governments, private sector and partners to exchange ideas and learn lessons of how to improve policies and strategies that will help African nations become emerging markets.

Co-organized by the government of Cote d’Ivoire and UNDP in collaboration with AfDB, the conference brought together participants, including heads of state of Africa, BRICS (a group of emerging economies including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), diplomats, private sector, and civil society, among others.

The conference among other issues, addressed Africa’s energy problem and enhancing private sector participation.

China, an Asian country once in desperate poverty but now triumphing as a developed country, shared its story of transformed economies that came as a result of market reforms adopted since 1978.

Its Gross Domestic Product averages 10 percent per year, lifting most of the citizens out of poverty.

Without referencing poverty and inequality as factors that sometimes enhance political upheaval and war, Steve Kavizzi-Mugerwa, AfDB’s Acting Chief Economist and Vice-President emphasized the importance of ensuring peace and stability.

He noted, “Let us stop civil wars, and let us stop deaths of our mothers and sisters; for development is impossible without peace.”

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