SDGs: Amina Mohammed Calls for Increased Capital Inflow to Africa

Dike Onwuamaeze

The United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Ms. Amina Mohammed, has made a strong call to stakeholders to take urgent action to increase capital flows into developing countries, particularly in Africa, in order to make the actualisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality.

Mohammed made the call during the week at the opening of the tenth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-10) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she urged the international community to support Africa in its efforts to deliver its vision for development through the SDGs 2030 agenda and Agenda 2063.

She told the multi-stakeholder forum of member states representatives, youth, civil society and private sector actors that African countries are facing significant challenges, including debt servicing, rising interest rates and limited fiscal space.

Mohammed said: “Debt servicing in Africa is at an all-time high due to external shocks, leaving very little fiscal space or nothing to invest in sustainable development.”

Furthermore, debt servicing “accounted for a staggering 47.5 per cent of government revenue in Sub Saharan Africa last year. This is the primary expenditure on essential services, as well as investments in the continent’s future in areas of education and health,” she said.

According to her, at least $500 billion a year is needed to scale up affordable long-term financing for development, alongside structural reforms within the very institutions and rules that make up the international financial architecture.

Speaking in the same vein, the Prime Minister of Uganda, Ms. Robinah Nabbanja, stressed the need for reform of the global financial architecture to ensure favourable financing terms.

Nabbanja also stressed the need for long-term financing for developing countries to trigger sustainable economies.

She said that climate-smart agriculture, technology and innovation are the key drivers for sustainable development on the continent.

The 10th ARFSD is being held under the theme, “Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 and Eradicating Poverty in Times of Multiple Crises: Effective Delivery of Sustainable, Resilient and Innovative Solutions.”

Similarly, Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Mr. Claver Gatete, stressed the need for “innovative financing mechanisms, coupled with reforms in the global financial architecture” to unlock new avenues for sustainable investment and inclusive growth in Africa.”

Gatete underscored the need to leverage Africa’s vast natural resources, particularly critical minerals, which are essential for the global transition to green economies.

He also said that renewable energy stands as a backbone for sustainable development, “with untapped opportunities to drive investments and promote energy security across the continent.”

Gatete touched on the six transition pathways that the UN system has identified as key investment pathways for SDGs delivery.

These, according to him, are food systems; energy access and affordability; digital connectivity; education; jobs and social protection; and climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

The ECA’s executive secretary also noted that climate challenges in Africa are reducing budgets by up to 5.0 per cent of GDP annually against the backdrop of high infrastructure and climate change needs that are estimated to cost between $68 billion and $108 billion annually.

He said: “The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents a unique opportunity to boost agribusiness and enhance food security, a cornerstone of resilience in the face of multifaceted challenges.” 

The Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission, Ms. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, noted that African leaders adopted the second tier implementation of the Agenda 2063, which demonstrated their unwavering commitment to realizing the aspirations of Africans.

Msanzabaganwa said: “Countries should innovate and create strong institutions that are accountable and deliver to the citizens.”

She also noted that domestic resource mobilisation is the responsibility of governments and there is a need for a fair and inclusive global taxation regime.

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