Persistent poverty and inequality are likely to undermine prosperity, peace and security in Africa unless governments adopt innovative development models, said experts and policymakers on an economic commission for Africa on Tuesday.
The high-level meeting hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) aimed to help African countries lessen their economic and social vulnerabilities and inequalities.
“It is becoming increasingly unlikely that African states will achieve many of the targets set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the 2030 deadline,” said Hanan Morsy, Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of the UNECA.
“Global shocks have wiped out more than two decades of progress the continent had made on poverty reduction. We need sustainable interventions,” a UNECA statement quoted Morsy as saying.
Officials from some African countries said that their countries have been suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical crisis and climate disasters. The challenges have been seriously affecting the countries’ main economic sectors and financial policies.
Acting Executive Secretary of the UNECA Antonio Pedro said Africa is falling further behind other global regions and now accounts for the largest share of the world’s poor due to increased poverty and inequalities.
As a result, many African countries are facing declining revenues, rising debt stress and constrained fiscal space, all of which limit their capacity to respond to economic crises, said Pedro, adding partnerships are key to addressing the African challenges.