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Joint MDG Partnership event highlights development effectiveness in Africa

arton3044In conjunction with the "Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit" (20-22 September, New York), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (UN-OSAA), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) organized a joint MDG Partnership event (20 September) to present UNECA/OECD’s 2010 Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness in Africa, as well as UN-OSAA’s report on Africa’s Cooperation with New and Emerging Development Partners: Options for Africa’s Development.

UNECA/OECD: 2010 Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness in Africa: Promise and Performance

The third report on the Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness (MRDE) was presented by Abdoulie Janneh, UNECA Executive Secretary, and Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary General. During their presentation, they encouraged African leaders and their international partners to deepen mutual accountability and continue efforts in order to achieve the MDGs by 2015.

The MRDE in Africa report reviews both the delivery of commitments and the effectiveness of development policies undertaken by Africa and its development partners around four thematic clusters: sustainable economic growth, investing in people, good governance and financing for development. It underlines that the context of the recent economic and financial crisis has set back some of the progress that Africa had started to achieve in the MDG countdown to 2015. For instance, the report finds that “there have been considerable advances in areas such as governance, peace and security, primary education and the reduction of extreme poverty. But enormous challenges remain, including accelerating the rate of progress in bringing clean water and basic sanitation, and reducing the unacceptable levels of maternal and child mortality.”

Mr. Janneh and Mr. Gurría state in the report’s preface that “The development process in Africa is rightly being led by African governments and their peoples.” They highlight the importance of closer regional integration, in particular in areas such as infrastructure and tackling resource scarcities. The report notes that the development process in Africa is also inextricably linked to what happens globally, and concludes that new global challenges have changed the game for Africa’s partners.

The MRDE, created as a practical tool for political leaders in the context of the MDG Summit, insists on the need to complement Africa’s efforts in domestic resource mobilization by effective international action to tackle tax havens, illicit financial flows, bribery and corruption. The need for more efforts to drive forward multilateral trade liberalization is also emphasized. The report underlines that Official Development Assistance (ODA) should meet the target of 0.7% of rich countries’ gross national product by 2015, but focuses greater attention on the question of aid effectiveness. Regarding climate change, it advises the international community to scale up financing to support both adaptation and mitigation in developing countries, to reach $100 billion annually by 2020.

MRDE’s executive summary is available online.

The Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness in Africa: Promise & Performance is available online.

UN-OSAA: Report on Africa’s Cooperation with New and Emerging Development Partners

In the pursuit of achieving the MDGs by 2015, this study examines recently established forms of cooperation between African countries and emerging development partners, also known as South-South cooperation. Although this cooperation is still very new and the developmental impact “embryonic,” the report underlines that this form of cooperation could become instrumental for Africa’s social, political and economic development. It emphasizes that South-South cooperation should be based on the strategic integration of trade, foreign direct investment (FDI) and international aid in all economic activities occurring between emerging economies and Africa. This "new type of strategic partnership" is set to challenge the existing trade-FDI-aid vectors that are characteristic of more traditional North-South cooperation.

However, the report warns that South-South cooperation is complex and can bring both opportunities and risks for Africa’s future growth. It therefore attempts to answer the question: "How can African economies make the most of the opportunities offered by these new participants on the global economic stage, and how can African economies minimize the potentially negative impacts posed by their growing presence?"

To ensure that the South-South cooperation results in a win-win situation for both emerging economies and African countries, the report provides several recommendations, aimed at key development actors in south-south cooperation. It calls, for example, for the establishment of monitoring protocols for south-south trade. If it becomes beneficial to both parties, the report argues, this cooperation could ensure economic diversification and industrial development in Africa, and support the continent’s integration into the global economy.

To access the report, click here.

More information on the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa is also available online.

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