President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has challenged African countries to guard against wasteful spending as the continent strives to mobilise revenue to drive its socio-economic transformation and achieve the African Beyond Aid dream.
He told African Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Accra yesterday that transparent budget and expenditure management systems that allocated resources wisely to agreed national priorities and monitored their implementation should be of utmost importance.
Speaking at the opening of the first leg of the 2019 African Caucus Meeting of World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Governors underway in Accra, President Akufo-Addo urged the continent to harness effectively its own resources to create the prosperity it desired.
“According to the African Development Bank, he said the annual infrastructure financing gap alone was about $100 billion. Infrastructural deficiency is estimated to hold us back by two percentage points in GDP growth per capita per year,” he said.
The caucus, comprising African Governors, Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, is a forum that helps organise and articulate the collective African interest within the two Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs).
About 350 delegates from Africa and the two BWIs are attending the two-day meeting on the theme “Africa Beyond Aid – Enhancing institutional capacity and innovative finance for sustainable growth.”
The African Continental Free Trade Area, he said was a potential game-changer in the Africa Beyond Aid agenda and must be of priority to all countries.
President Akufo-Addo said the advocacy for Africa’s self-reliance did not mean Africa would not need the support of its Bretton Wood partners and therefore backed efforts by African Governors of the World Bank and the International Development Association (IDA) for $100 billion IDA allocation this year.
“Yes, we aim for an Africa Beyond Aid, but our journey towards that goal will be much faster with enhanced support from our Bretton Woods partners. These additional resources from the IDA, and other initiatives that reflect innovative forms of financing, will complement our efforts at maximising domestic revenue mobilisation, so that we can bridge the enormous financing gap in infrastructure”, he said.
Commending the caucus for looking out for the interests of the African continent within the Bretton Woods’ Institutions since its set up 56 years ago, he urged the caucus to bring their individual experiences to bear, and help shape Africa to the desirable state.
Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, Chair of the African Caucus in his welcome address, said although growth has resumed in Africa, the pace was not enough to provide decent job opportunities for the youth and end their risky journey in reach of better opportunities overseas.
He said the caucus would work assiduously to contribute to the realisation of Africa Beyond Aid by coming up with a common position that helps to firmly place the key development needs of the continent at the centre of the strategy and operations of the two Bretton Woods Institutions.