Mr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa has called for a more bold agenda for Africa – one that takes into account the existing continental frameworks.
Mr. Carlos Lopes said this during the launch of the high level panel of the post-2015 Development Agenda, held at the UN Conference Centre in Addis Ababa on Monday.
Our continent faces unique challenges and opportunities that require specific policy interventions and distinct goals for both economic and social development, said Lopes, adding that it is in this regard that recent policy discussions amongst leading regional institutions have proposed “African Development Goals”.
These ADGs, he said, should be framed to take into account the existing continental frameworks, particularly the AU/NEPAD programme, Agenda 2063 Vision and other programmes on infrastructure, agriculture, governance, industrialization, resource mobilization and capacity development.
The Executive Secretary lauded the panel for “an excellent job” of capturing global priorities and key, overarching and cross cutting issues that should be included in the post 2015 agenda.”
“We failed to anticipate the data challenges associated with monitoring real performance or lack thereof,” said Lopes stressing that without the ability to properly monitor whatever new goals, targets or indicators we come up with, the post 2015 agenda will suffer this same major shortfall.
“It is therefore critical to tackle data methodological constraints and work hard to generate robust economic and social statistics,” he added.
He welcomed the Report’s emphasis on a data revolution to improve the quantity and quality of statistics available for monitoring development indicators, which said was a point of emphasis at the inception of ECA’s renewed vigor in September 2012.
He recommended that efforts in this regard be done in a coordinated manner.
Mr. Lopes said the Report underscores the need for big transformative shifts, which include leaving no one behind. This, he said, touches upon our concern that the MDGs were mostly silent on issues of equality.
He further noted that putting sustainable development at the core recognizes the significant interlinkages between economic, social and environmental sustainability, and the importance of tackling climate change.
“The call to transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth echoes our vision to assist Africa in embarking on a structural economic transformation, focused at diversified economies, creating employment and adding value to natural resources,” he said.
He also said the Report urges for building peaceful and effective, open and accountable institutions for all.
“This, coupled with the fifth key point of forging global partnerships takes into account the need for good governance at the local, nation, regional and global level,” he said.
On global partnerships, Mr. Lopes said the ongoing consultations on the post 2015 agenda have illustrated the need for inclusiveness in global dialogue, helping address issues of accountability in the current MDGs.
He stressed the need to fast-track economic transformation and inclusive growth. “Such a transformative agenda is essential if Africa wishes to pursue high-level and sustainable economic growth and social development,” he said.
Touching on the draft Common Position on the post-2015 agenda, Mr. Lopes said, “I believe what Africa needs is to articulate an aggressive industrialization drive; Africa needs more modern jobs, value addition, agricultural productivity revolution, better use of natural resources, all of which are pointing in the direction of a recomposition of Africa’s GDP with a greater part for industrialization.”
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