Addis Ababa, 24 March 2023 (TDI): In the Ministerial meeting of the 55th session of the conference for the Planning and Economic Development, Ministers from across Africa reiterated the urgency of transforming Africa’s economies and driving industrialization.

The Ministerial meeting took place under the forum of the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 21 March. The meeting was attended by Finance Ministers and Economic experts across Africa.

The Theme of the fifty-fifth session of the Commission was “Fostering recovery and transformation in Africa to reduce inequalities and vulnerabilities”.

During the meeting, Finance Ministers urged that Africa should deploy innovative resource mobilization and accelerate economic recovery from multiple crises which have eroded two decades of development gains and increased poverty.

The Ministers also highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and climate change have posed challenges to Africa’s efforts to achieve the SDGs and Agenda 2063.

The Ministers said the triple crises have disrupted food and energy markets, exacerbated food insecurity, and caused high inflation rates which have pushed millions of Africans into poverty and economic hardship.

In addition, the Ministers also recognized that the ongoing crises have made it difficult to achieve the target of SDG to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality within seven years in line with the 2030 Agenda.

They acknowledged that the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will increase intra-African trade in agrifood, services, industry, energy, and mining while attracting cross-border investments.

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They also called the ECA to support the continent with strategic thinking and new perspectives to achieve prosperity by 2030 and realize the objectives of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.

ECA Acting Executive Secretary, Antonio Pedro, in closing the conference, said to foster recovery and transformation in Africa, the continent should prioritize skills enhancement, industrialization and economic diversification, infrastructure development, intra-Africa trade, and innovative financing.

“We have the mandate to deliver on our promise of shared prosperity to the people of Africa,” Pedro said, adding that sustainable solutions must be developed by Africa and partnership and collaborations were key to a transformed Africa.