The UNCTAD report was presented as a starting point for a discussion organized in Kigali by the Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
DAKAR, Senegal, August 5, 2016 – In Eastern Africa, debt stocks have risen rapidly over the past five years, but debt ratios appear to remain manageable, according to the UNCTAD Economic Development in Africa 2016 Report on “Debt Dynamics and Development Finance in Africa” which was released in July in Nairobi during UNCTAD 14.
The UNCTAD report was presented as a starting point for a discussion organized in Kigali by the Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), with Leonard Rugwabiza, the Chief Economist at the Rwanda Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, acting as the discussant.
Andrew Mold, a senior economist from ECA, recalled that it is estimated that an additional 600 billion USD is needed in Africa every year until 2030 in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Progress towards achieving such ambitious levels of additional finance can only be achieved by relying more on domestic resource mobilization, he argued, particularly since the prospects for ODA are not especially encouraging.
To underpin this point, preliminary econometric research conducted by ECA and presented by Andrew Mold suggests that growth performance in Eastern Africa over the last three decades has been stronger when supported by higher domestic savings, rather than being financed from external sources (such as FDI, debt, or ODA).
Between 2011 and 2014, the annual growth rate of external debt in Eastern Africa has been higher (13.3%) than the average for Sub-Saharan Africa (9%), However, as a percentage of GNI, debt levels are still sustainable, with only two countries in the region (Burundi and Djibouti) currently being deemed at high risk of debt default, according to a recent evaluation of the joint World Bank–International Monetary Fund Debt Sustainability Framework.
In order to increase domestic resource mobilisation, Eastern African countries will also want to stem more effectively illicit financial flows, which currently account for a loss of around -6% of GDP in Africa, according to UNCTAD estimates.
Similarly, remittances and diaspora savings could be leveraged more to provide financial resources in the region, especially in Kenya and Uganda.
The ClimDev Africa Special Fund (CDSF) launched its first project in Ethiopia on August 3 to help the country cope with, and build resilience to, climate change by enhancing capacity in climate monitoring, data analysis, interpretation, forecasting and dissemination for use in national decision-making.
The project entitled “Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for Climate Resilient Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in Ethiopia – (SCI-EWS)” will be implemented over a span of three years at a total cost of EUR 1 million.
Speaking at the launch, Ato Alemayehu Tegenu, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, noted that, “Enhancing the capacity of the country’s National Meteorology Agency by promoting strategies that effectively manage risks; reduce vulnerability; and maximize opportunities associated with climate variability, change and extreme weather events for different socioeconomic sectors, is central to our commitment to build a fully climate resilient green economy by 2025.” Improved service delivery and cost recovery systems as a result of the project, are expected to generate additional income for the Government to ensure the future sustainability of the system together with the National Meteorological Agency.
Justus Kabyemera, AfDB ClimDev-Africa Special Fund Coordinator further stated, “This project exemplifies the importance of the ClimDev-Africa Special Fund to help mitigate the challenges associated with gathering and relaying important climate-related information on the continent – a critical step to help countries deal with climate change-related risk. In countries such as Ethiopia, in which climate change is not only recognized as a real threat, but as an opportunity as well, working towards sustainable adaptation and mitigation will help it achieve rapid economic development by promoting safe agricultural investments and boosting industrial growth.”
In addition to Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy and staff, the launch was also attended by representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB), ClimDev-Africa, and non-governmental organizations.
Following the launch, relevant National Meteorological Agency staff attended a three-day workshop on AfDB project implementation rules and procedures, such as procurement and monitoring and evaluation.
Ethiopia is the first country to benefit from the Fund.
Launched in November 2014, the ClimDev Africa Special Fund (CDSF) is the funding arm of ClimDev Africa, a joint programme between the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank. Housed at the AfDB, it is a demand-led fund that pools resources to finance investment activities on the ground across Africa for the generation and use of climate information for climate-resilient development. Grants are provided to projects in line with the ClimDev-Africa Programme’s goal, purpose and results areas and are implemented by national and regional organizations at all levels on the continent.
This Ebola disease has taken its toll and that why I have made this blog post. With various sources quoting in the recent week on the matter, to prove what the nations does and don’t. Also too show the progress of multilateral organizational co-ops in the affected countries in the West Africa.
This is what the US Government entities have to say about people with Ebola reaching its shores;
“Today, as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s ongoing response to prevent the spread of Ebola to the United States, we are announcing travel restrictions in the form of additional screening and protective measures at our ports of entry for travelers from the three West African Ebola-affected countries. These new measures will go into effect tomorrow (…) Today, I am announcing that all passengers arriving in the United States whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will be required to fly into one of the five airports that have the enhanced screening and additional resources in place (…) We currently have in place measures to identify and screen anyone at all land, sea and air ports of entry into the United States who we have reason to believe has been present in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea in the preceding 21 days” (DHS Press Office, 21.10.2014).
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that public health authorities will begin active post-arrival monitoring of travelers whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea. These travelers are now arriving to the United States at one of five airports where entry screening is being conducted by Customs and Border Protection and CDC. Active post-arrival monitoring means that travelers without febrile illness or symptoms consistent with Ebola will be followed up daily by state and local health departments for 21 days from the date of their departure from West Africa” (CDCP, 22.10.2014).
Multilateral organizational response to health issues recently:
IMF addresses first: “The strong growth trends of recent years in the sub-Saharan Africa region are expected to continue. The region’s economy is forecast to continue growing at a fast clip, expanding by about 5 percent in 2014, the same level as in 2013, and accelerating to around 5¾ percent in 2015, underpinned by continued public investment in infrastructure, buoyant services sectors, and strong agricultural production. This growth momentum is particularly pronounced in the region’s Low-Income Countries, where activity is forecast to accelerate to 6¾-7 percent in 2014-15” (…)”This positive picture, however, co-exists with the dire situation in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where, beyond the unbearable number of deaths, suffering, and social dislocation, the Ebola outbreak is exacting a heavy economic toll, with economic spillovers starting to materialize in some neighboring countries” (…)”In the countries currently affected by the Ebola outbreak, fiscal accounts are coming under considerable pressure. Ideally, support should be provided through grants from the donor community, to enable the countries to accommodate higher Ebola-related spending and to help avoid an even more pronounced decline in economic activity. However, when grants are not immediately forthcoming, and provided that the public debt levels remain manageable, fiscal deficits should be allowed to widen, subject to the availability of financing” (IMF, 20.10.2014)
Tostan addresses secondly: “Guinea has been confronted with the serious Ebola epidemic which, due to the surprising apparition of the disease and the unpreparedness of health authorities, has taken the lives of an unprecedented number of families and health workers. Despite preventative measures taken by Guinean authorities with the support of development partners, Ebola persists in the country” (…)”Using our approach of organized diffusion, 17 Tostan supervisors will hold educational discussions in local languages to raise awareness on the Ebola virus. 2,784 community members from 116 Community Management Committees (CMCs) and the Local Council for Children and Families (CLEF – in French) will educate their relatives, friends, and at least three districts and neighboring villages” (…)”Other preventative measures include the distribution and installation of hand-washing kits in each Tostan office in Conakry, Labe, and Faranah by the National Coordination of Tostan Guinea. The Governor and Prefect of Faranah, who visited the regional Tostan office, congratulated Tostan for putting in safety measures to help prevent the spread of Ebola amongst the staff and the 116 partner communities, as well as acknowledging the hundreds of other adopted communities reached through organized diffusion” (Tostan, 20.10.2014).
UNFPA addresses it as a third: “The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today reaffirmed its commitment to a partnership with Amref Health Africa aimed at improving the health of women and children in Africa. Speaking at the exchange of a signed Memorandum of Understanding that makes Amref Health Africa an implementing partner for UNFPA in Africa, Dr Laura Laski, Chief of Sexual and Reproductive Health at UNFPA, said the partnership intended to strengthen health systems by training midwives to building their capacity to respond to health issues, particularly those related to maternal, neonatal and adolescent health” (…)”She emphasised that high maternal mortality in Africa is an unfinished agenda of the Millennium Development Goals, and one of the critical issues that will be discussed at the Amref Health Africa International Conference to be held in Nairobi from November 24-26. She urged African governments to increase their commitment and contribution to health development, as well as individuals, corporates and institutions” (UNFPA, 23.10.2014).
WHO addresses is a fourth: “WHO convened a meeting with high-ranking government representatives from Ebola-affected countries and development partners, civil society, regulatory agencies, vaccine manufacturers and funding agencies yesterday to discuss and agree on how to fast track testing and deployment of vaccines in sufficient numbers to impact the Ebola epidemic” (…)”Results from phase 1 clinical trials of most advanced vaccines are expected to be available in December 2014 and efficacy trials in affected countries also will begin in this timeframe, with protocols adapted to take into consideration safety and immunogenicity results as they become available” (…)”Pharmaceutical companies developing the vaccines committed to ramp up production capacity for millions of doses to be available in 2015, with several hundred thousand ready before the end of the first half of the year” (…)”Community engagement is key and work should be scaled up urgently in partnership between local communities, national governments, NGOs and international organizations” (WHO, 24.10.2014).
African Development Bank group together with a collective or affiliates is the five one to address it: “Leaders of three Pan-African institutions – the African Union Commission’s Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the African Development Bank’s Dr Donald Kaberuka, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s Dr. Carlos Lopes – concluded a solidarity tour on Friday 24 October 2014 in Conakry, Guinea” (…) ”They met with Heads of Government, cabinet Ministers, parliamentarians, civil society and media in the affected countries, as well as with leaders of two neighbouring countries, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. Ghana also hosted the delegation in its capacity as the current President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)” (…)”They recognised the stepped up contributions of the international community in providing financial, technical, infrastructural and medical support to the fight against the EVD, and urged all to do still more” (…)”the AfDB’s contribution – currently at over 220 million USD – includes supporting the international response, budgetary support for the deployment of health workers from across Africa and the diaspora, as well as supporting the health systems in the three countries, including training local health extension and community workers” (…)”It felt that the virus – and perceptions about it – cannot be allowed to affect the economic prospects of the fastest growing continent. The group strongly believed that the Mano River Basin countries, now at the epicenter of the epidemic, continue to have some of the best economic prospects of the continent. In continuing to call for a lifting of all travel bans, it was pleased to hear that Côte d’Ivoire has resumed flights to Guinea this week, and will do so with Sierra Leone and Liberia in the coming days” (ADBG, 25.10.2014).
RMS Stats on Ebola:
I think this is all for today! Peace.
African Development Bank Group: ‘AUC, AfDB and ECA confident that countries will beat Ebola Virus Disease’ (25.10.2014) Link: http://www.afdb.org/en/news-and-events/article/auc-afdb-and-eca-confident-that-countries-will-beat-ebola-virus-disease-13667/
Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDCP): ‘CDC Announces Active Post-Arrival Monitoring for Travelers from Impacted Countries’ (22.10.2014) Link: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p1022-post-arrival-monitoring.html
DHS Press Office: ‘Statement by Secretary Johnson on Travel Restrictions and Protective Measures to Prevent the Spread of Ebola to the United States’ (21.10.2014) Link: http://www.dhs.gov/news/2014/10/21/statement-secretary-johnson-travel-restrictions-and-protective-measures-prevent
IMF: ‘IMF Projects Robust Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, Amid Shifting Global Forces’ (20.10.2014) Link: http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2014/pr14475.htm
TOSTAN: ‘Tostan involved in awareness raising activities on Ebola in Guinea’ (20.10.2014) Link: http://www.tostan.org/news/press-release-tostan-involved-awareness-raising-activities-ebola-guinea
UNFPA: ‘UNFPA and Amref Health Africa seal Partnership to Boost the Health of Africa’s Women and Children’ (23.10.2014) Link: http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/unfpa-and-amref-health-africa-seal-partnership-boost-health-africa-s-women-and-children
WHO: ‘WHO convenes industry leaders and key partners to discuss trials and production of Ebola vaccine’ (24.10.2015) Link: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/ebola-vaccines-production/en/
RMS: ‘RMS Develops World’s First Probabilistic Model of West African Ebola Outbreak, Finds Current Outbreak Has Potential to be Deadliest Infectious Disease Event in a Century’ (23.10.2014) Link :http://www.rms.com/about/newsroom/press-releases/press-detail/2014-10-23/rms-develops-worlds-first-probabilistic-model-of-west-african-ebola-outbreak-finds-current-outbreak-has-potential-to-be-deadliest-infectious-disease-event-in-a-century