Leaders to integrate macroeconomic performance, outlook into development plans –AfDB

AFDB provides solution for climate change

African leaders have pledged to implement recommendations from the recently released Africa’s Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook report into their national development plans as soon as possible.

The pledge was made at the 36th African Union (AU) Summit, which is currently taking place in Addis Abeba.

The leaders spoke during the presentation of the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook Report, according to a statement on the AfDB website.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema said the AfDB study provided impetus for the continent’s leaders to push ahead with needed reforms.

Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, Minister of Finance and National Planning under Hichelema, described the report as a significant milestone in the quest for evidence-based knowledge.

According to him, the report will inform policymaking for a more prosperous and sustainable future for Africa.

“The findings of this important report, therefore, provide us with a set of concrete policies that we must urgently implement to sustain the recovery and build resilience in Zambia and on the continent.

“Although, Zambia was not spared from global shocks, the country’s economy has shown resilience,” he said.

Hichelema acknowledged the impact of Zambia’s heavy debt burden on the country’s fiscal stability.

He said his administration had inaugurated reforms that would spur economic growth to 4.0 per cent in 2023 and 4.3 per cent in 2024.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the AfDB group released the inaugural Africa’s Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook report on January 19.

It has since attracted significant interest among decision-makers in Africa and globally.

The bi-annual report offers policymakers, global investors, researchers, and other development partners up-to-date, evidence-based assessments of the continent’s recent macroeconomic performance.

It also provides a short-to-medium-term outlook.

The AU Commission Chairperson, Moussa Mahamat said that the report would be presented to heads of state at the African Union Summit to help steer national planning.

“Knowledge is power. The report, to be published twice a year, is a wealth of knowledge with deep insight into what is going on in Africa in the macroeconomic sphere.

“It identifies challenges and opportunities for the good of our continent.

“If governments, the private sector, and other stakeholders adopt the report, they will be better placed to make informed decisions.

“The report calls for timely structural reforms to enhance government-enabled private-sector industrialisation in key areas,” Mahamat said.

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Zainab Ahmed said the issues in the report also affected Nigeria.

Ahmed said, “We have steered the country toward pre COVID-19 era, but we still face some challenges.

“We have been asking for a liquidity facility as part of the SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) to act as a cushion for us. We have also asked multilateral development banks to give us longer-term financing.

“Nigeria has shown a lot of resilience. We just need that support to enable us to take the full potential.”

AfDB President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina observed that although African economies had shown impressive resilience, global support was needed to help the continent navigate financial burdens and its security challenges.

“In spite the slowdown occasioned by multiple shocks, Africa demonstrated continued resilience in all but one country.

“And maintained a positive growth rate in 2022 with stable outlook in 2023 and 2024. African economies are indeed resilient,” Adesina said.

He called for strong and collective support to Africa to help the continent navigate the challenges it faced, especially debt burden and debt vulnerabilities.

The bank president said, “Africa cannot run up the steep hill carrying a bag of debt on its back.

“The channeling of the additional 100 billion dollars of Special Drawing Rights will make a huge difference.

“We must join hands to harness the enormous opportunities in Africa. There is no doubt that we will make good progress. However, we must work fast, be inclusive, and be competitive.”

Also speaking, Assistant Minister of Finance for Policies and Economic Affairs of Egypt, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim, said the report was helpful.

Ibrahim said it would enable African policymakers and researchers as a timely databank of sound and evidence-based projects for development and planning.

In a presentation, the Director, Centre for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, said that Africa had the capacity to achieve seven to 10 per cent yearly growth.

Sachs observed that Africa could take advantage of its population to grow a robust single market, citing examples like China and India.

“Building a single market will enable Africa to position among the three largest global marketplaces.

“The continent has the greatest growth potential. And I urge African leaders to build vital regional infrastructure and close the infrastructure gaps over the following decades,” he said.

The director urged governments to lead a revolution to bring about affordable access to health care and education.

Sachs called for greater financing for the continent to place it on sustainable growth, observing that the AfDB was critical to meeting the continent’s financial needs.

“The African Union needs to become a permanent of the G-21,” he said.

Acting Chief Economist and Vice President of AfDB, Prof. Kevin Urama, highlighted the importance of Africa’s Macroeconomic Performance and Outlook 2023.

Urama said, “as we gather here today, global macroeconomic conditions have become increasingly uncertain due to multiple overlapping shocks that make policymaking and investment decisions very challenging.

“Countries need regular diagnostics and focused policy actions to address these recurring and overlapping shocks.”

The professor affirmed that Africa remained the place to invest in spite suffering global shocks.

According to the report, African economies, following two years of global shocks, will overcome various domestic and global shocks and return to a path of economic recovery, stability, and growth.

It said lingering effects of COVID-19 pandemic, the ravages of accelerating climate change, and impact of rising geo-political conflicts and tension slowed Africa’s growth to an average of 3.8 per cent in 2022.

It further said to sustain growth, Africa’s economies would require comprehensive information and insights to navigate a labyrinth of intertwined global risks, the report said.

NAN reports that the bank will release the report in the first and third quarters of each year to complement its flagship Annual African Economic Outlook.

The AfDB is the first institution to release a macroeconomic outlook for Africa for 2023. (NAN)

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