A Conversation of Equals

Submitted by admin on Mon, 12/28/2015 - 13:43

Development stakeholders gathered in Mexico City for the first high-level meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation have been conducting a reality check on how much progress has been achieved on commitments made three years ago at the Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea.

The Busan approach was to try and ban the word Aid and talk instead about inclusive development so that under-developed and emerging economies, most of them in Africa, can claim ownership of the processes leading to social economic growth. 

The partnership brings together aid donors and recipients, civil society, private sector, international organisations and foundations, in the hope of eradicating poverty through better cooperation.

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico

At the important meeting hosted by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, about 2.000 delegates converged and conferred in eight interactive focus sessions. The buzz word was inclusive growth.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said that he was encouraged by the steps taken by recipient countries in making strides to manage assistance. He particularly commended the leadership that Africa had shown in this agenda, saying that the world had moved on from a donor-recipient relationship.

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Driving the point: Dr Maxwell Mkwezalamba, Malawi’s Finance Minister and former AUC Commissioner for Economic Affairs

The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency, which is the African Union’s key driver in the implementation of regional and national development programmes lent its support to the strong united African voice at the meeting, conveyed by Ivory Coast’s Minister of Planning Dr Albert Mabri.

Africa is also calling for an expanded, more effective and participatory representation on the global partnership governance structures, where it is currently not adequately represented.

In addition, leaders agreed on ways to step up Domestic Resource Mobilisation, one of the main success factors for Africa’s transformation. They said efforts had to be intensified for co-operation to boost tax revenue and curtail illicit financial flows.

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 Ivory Coast’s Minister of Planning Dr Albert Mabri.

AUC Commissioner for Economic Affairs Dr Anthony Maruping said: “A well-managed taxation mechanism will boost our drive for domestic resource mobilisation. It will also make policy makers more accountable to the public.”

African plans to tap into the continents own rich resources to fuel economic growth while depending less on foreign aid assistance, which it says impacts on ownership principles where development partners dictate terms.

Nigeria’s Finance Minister Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told the meeting that Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) from Africa deprive the continent of almost US$50 billion annually. The development impact of this has resulted in loss of tax revenues, damage to economic potential and weakening of governance

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Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Finance Minister

Following robust presentations and discussions, deliverables on mobilising resources have been laid: a coalition shouldbe established for resourced and public service delivery; commit to perform risk analyses against exposure to illicit financial flows, and endorse the International Monetary Fund’s proposed tax administration tool.

They also endorsed the “tax inspectors without borders” as an example of innovation to address international tax avoidance.                                             

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Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Mr Samara Kamura proudly show-cased the success his country has made from a post conflict situation to the world’s fastest growing economy at 29% GDP. He said Sierra Leone, which was once a country supported UN and regional  troops was now assisting other in conflict resolution by contributing its troops to peace-keeping efforts and post-conflict reconstruction.

The two day meeting which ends today will discuss cooperation with middle income countries and how the private sector can be a strong partner for development. Overall, it is hoped that this meeting will re-energise the aid effectiveness process.