Addis Ababa, February 8, 2019– It goes without saying that data and information analysis, as well as strategic planning are becoming more and more critical to Africa’s successful development formula.
The above is the view expressed at the launch of a special report by the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Frederick S. Pardee Centre for International Futures, entitled Africa’s path to 2063: Choice in the face of great transformation.
The launch of the report took place on the 8thFebruary 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the margins of the 32ndOrdinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union.
The AUDA-NEPAD CEO, Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, remarked that, “It is obvious that strengthening analysis and strategic planning capacity in Africa’s national and regional systems is essential and should not be taken for granted. We are almost at the end of the first Ten Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063 which shows the importance of data and information” he said
He further indicated that critical transitions are taking place, which the study identified. These are demographic, technology, natural systems and human development transitions. Governance, more in the context of government capacity is one feature the report covers as an essential condition that will impact on the ability of the continent, collectively, and individual member states to leverage the values of the transitions. “None of these transitions can be dealt with independently, they are all related,” said Dr Mayaki.
Dr Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa highlighted the importance of forecasting and strategic planning in delivering Agenda 2063 and why this is important for African countries.
“This report is important for where Africa is going, especially as Africa is opening up as a continent of competitive advantage. We need to revisit the policies we put in place in African countries to make growth more inclusive and make the Africa We Wantbecome possible even before 2063,” Dr Songwe said.
TheAfrica’s path to 2063: Choice in the face of great transformation report brings out evidence and insights on the “pace and direction” of the transitions highlighted above, the implications they have on the choices African countries (collectively and as individual member states) make in determining their economic growth and development pathways.
In synthesising the key messages of the report, Mr Martin Bwalya, Head of Programme Development at AUDA-NEPAD said, “The study is presented in the context of Africa in general, and Agenda 2063 (also linking it to the Sustainable Development Goals). It brings out easy to digest analytical information that could feed directly into integrated development planning in pursuit of Agenda 2063 goals and targets.
“The report serves as a reminder that the choices that countries make today, tomorrow and in the near future will determine the Africa we will see in 2063,” said Mr Bwalya.
Foreign Affairs Minister of Rwanda, H.E Dr Richard Sezibera advocated for Africa to make smart choices for its future, in the various transitions that the continent is going through.
Prof Jonathan Moyer, Director at the Frederick S. Pardee Centre for International Futures was one of the discussants during the launch of the study. He reported that International Futures is a global integrated assessment model designed to help in thinking strategically and systematically about key global systems - economic, demographic, education, health, environment, technology, domestic governance, infrastructure, agriculture, energy and environment.
The momentum of the identified transitions will directly impact economic growth and development trajectories– either as “energy” that could be leveraged to speed-up economic growth and development trajectories (i.e. positive energy) or hinder economic growth and development trajectories (i.e. negative energy).
For a 50-year development plan (that is, Agenda 2063), this report also brings attention and planning capability to determine inter-generational timeframes and related actions that would lead to not just economic growth, but also to sustainable development – in the context of human well-being.