Deputy Finance Minister for Budget, Tanneh Brunson has pledged the Government of Liberia unwavering commitment to continuing her partnership with sub-regional bodies as well as with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) for its supports in making sure that “we jointly achieve the United Nations 2030 Agenda-Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.”
She informed delegates that the Government have adopted the global and continental frameworks-the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, among others.
However, this year ICE 22nd session was preceded by an ad hoc expert group meeting from 6 to 7 May 2019, on the theme “National capacities and mechanisms in evaluating progress in the implementation of agendas 2030 and 2063: assessment, challenges and prospects in West Africa.”
It brought together 15 West African States, as well as representatives and experts from ECOWAS, UN, the Mano River Union (MRU), and other Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs).
Brunson made these remarks on Monday, May 6, 2019 at the opening of a five-day meetings beginning with the AD-HOC Meeting of the Expert Group in Margibi County.
“I would like to use this opportunity to extend to you all from the President of Liberia, George M. Weah and at the same time express the gratitude of the Government and people of Liberia to you all,” She said.
“As you may be aware, the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts is a body established by the United Nations General Assembly in West Africa, it meets to discuss economic and social performance of member states, based on working documents prepared by the sub-regional Office for West Africa.” she said.
She said the Agenda 2063 is developed as a vision for “The Africa We Want” by African Union Heads of State in May 2013.
Brunson said the agenda 2063 is a long term development framework that aims to materialize Africa’s vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the world.
“We have all gathered here today to discuss recent developments likely to impact economic and social development in West African countries, with a view to identifying major challenges to be addressed and to propose guidelines for accelerating sustainable development in West Africa through the transformation of the economies of the sub-region,” she said.
In this light, Brunson urged participants to review the statutory reports prepared by the Secretariat over the years. She further said during these meetings, delegates should review several reports and provide directions.
She said: “These include report on implementation of the sub-regional office for West Africa Work Program in 2018 and prospects for 2019. The report on the Regional Profile of West Africa and the Report on Progress in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in West Africa.”
She urged delegates, researchers to all rethink and develop actionable and transformative steps aimed at reducing poverty and other forms of backwardness in our regions, let us all be reminded that our posterity-the generation yet unborn, will hold,” she said.
Bakary Dosso, Director of Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) for West Africa, commended the Government of Liberia for agreeing to host this meeting of experts from West Africa to discuss a topic of great interest to “our sub-region, namely, the implementation in West Africa of the 2030 agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2063 agenda of the Africa Union (AU).”
Dosso told the participants that the SDGs represent an unprecedented opportunity to eliminate extreme poverty and put the world on the path on the to sustainable development.
He said for the 2063 continental agenda, in addition to these global aspirations reflected in the SDGs, is call for action to implement the road map for “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force on the international scene.”
In West Africa, Dosso said, a rough estimate shows that, out of an estimated population of 377 million in 2018, just over 200 million or 53.5 percent of people live below the national poverty line. “This clearly demonstrates the magnitude of the challenges we all face.”
Countries in the sub-region, according to him, needs to make major reforms to their macroeconomic and financial frameworks, invest in human capital, tackle infrastructure deficits, improve the business climate to meet the above challenges, and positively and sustainably reverse trends.
Dosso said the success lies in the ability of the national leadership to execute on time, to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the different agendas to which it has committed for the transformation of their respective countries and the continent.
He said institutional capacities for evaluation and monitoring of development agendas have been identified as one of the missing links in development processes in our countries, he told the delegates at the conference.
The Sub-regional Office for West Africa, based in Niamey, covers the 15 member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Experts from these member States form the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts of West Africa.
It is also the statutory framework of the ICE, for member States to oversee the development and implementation of the Office’s work program, monitor its activities, as well as provide guidance for the Office’s programmes by ensuring that sub-regional priorities are included as much as possible.
In addition the ICE makes recommendations on economic and social development issues in the sub-region, and these may, as appropriate, be considered by the joint ECA-African Union meeting of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.