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  1. 2011 Dialogue with the Economic and Social CouncilJuly 2011“Regional Cooperation as a Catalyst for Development”AbdoulieJanneh, USG & Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa

  2. Outline • Africa’s Improved Economic Performance • Inevitability of Regional Cooperation in Africa • Potential of Regional Cooperation in Africa • Africa’s Regional Cooperation Efforts • Promoting Regional Integration: Opportunities and Challenges • Transboundary Cooperation • Improved Participation in Global Processes • Conclusions

  3. Africa’s Improved Economic Performance • Africa’s economic performance quite encouraging: • grew on average by nearly 6% since 2000 • showed relative resilience during the global economic crisis, growing at 2.4% in 2009 Growth performance (average) Source: ARIA IV, 2010 ECA, compiled from IMF website

  4. Africa’s Improved Economic Performance Six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies are in Africa Prospects of wider African markets and participation in large scale regional infrastructure projects  Improved economic performance due to: better macroeconomic performance and high commodity prices highly successful regional cooperation efforts to reduce conflicts, integrate economies, improve transboundary cooperation and engage more in global economic processes Outcome of a wider regional effort to improve governance in the continent the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)

  5. Inevitability of Regional Cooperation in Africa • Regional cooperation expected to continue to contribute to growth and development of Africa  • Great priority from the early post-independence period in the 1960s • RC not as a matter of choice for African countries but necessity •  Of the countries on the continent, 39 have fewer than 15 million people — and 21 fewer than 5 million • 32 countries have per capita incomes below $500 a year (10% of the world average of $5,000) • While Africa contains 12% of the world’s population, it produces just 2% of its output • 15 out of 53 African countries are landlocked while 13 of them have a land area less than 40,000 square km • The imperative of RC in Africa is also due to the arbitrary nature of colonially inherited boundaries

  6. Inevitability of Regional Cooperation in Africa Need to reduce high freight and transport cost  Transport costs (freight costs as a percentage of total import value) Note: The transport cost rate is the ratio of transport costs as a percentage of the value of imports. Source: ARIA IV, 2010 Calculations by ECA

  7. Potential of Regional Cooperation in Africa • Political unity increasingly important great potential for regional cooperation to contribute to growth and dev’t in Africa • For instance: • If it was a single economic unit, the value of Africa’s GDP would be $1543 billion which is comparable to Brazil with a GDP of about $1575 billion • Africa’s total population of one billion people is in the same range as China and India the potential of using education to create a skilled and competitive workforce • Combined consumer spending in Africa is over $900 billion while its combined foreign exchange reserves are in region of $470 billion • There are over 60 transboundary river basins in Africa home to 90% of world reserves of platinum, palladium and rhodium

  8. Africa’s Regional Cooperation Efforts • Africa has sought to overcome its economic limitations and achieve the full benefits of its comparative strengths • Africa paid close attention to deepening these processes over the years • Such cooperation evident from the opportunities and challenges arising from actions that have been taken thus far: • Promote regional cooperation • Scale up transboundary cooperation • Build consensus for Africa’s engagement with the outside world

  9. Promoting Regional Integration: Opportunities and Challenges • Regional integration offers opportunities to African development • Examples: Institutions of Integration, Infrastructure and Trade • Institutions of Integration: • Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community in 1991 and the creation of the African Union in 2002 RECsbuilding blocs for continental integration • By 2003 out of 53 African countries, 26 were members of 2 RECs, 20 were members of 3 RECs, while 1 country belonged to 4 RECs • A challenge ! but through ECA’s 2nd ARIA report, the AU Heads of State and Government decided to limit the no. of recognized RECs to eight

  10. Promoting Regional Integration: Opportunities and Challenges Infrastructure: Africa needs first rate infrastructure The small size of African economies a challenge ! e.g. larger projects such as the INGA Dam Project (which can supply 60% of Africa’s hydropower needs) economically unviable and raising finance a challenge The African Development Bank set aside resources to finance cross-border infrastructure projects and regional public goods More of such facilities are needed and the establishment of the African Finance Corporation would lend further impetus Hoped that the G20 High Level Panel on Infrastructure Investment will come up with recommendations that help Africa to obtain resources

  11. Promoting Regional Integration: Opportunities and Challenges Trade: Intra-Africa trade is about 10% low compared to other regions but poses an opportunity increasing through product diversification and trade facilitation Recent example: the on-going Aid for Trade pilot project on the North-South Corridor to facilitate trade in Eastern and Southern Africa in the Chirundu One Stop Border Post, clearing time for commercial trucks went down from 5 days to 1-2 days whilst for passenger coaches it went down from 2 hours to 1 hour A "fast lane facility" even allows commercial trucks to be cleared in 5 hours Trade helped the free movement of people especially in the East African Community and Economic Community of West African States

  12. Transboundary Cooperation • Transboundary Cooperation in Africa: • Jointly manage river basins • Establish regional power pools • Improving education, health including HIV/AIDs, agriculture, transport and communications • The Niger Basin Authority, Lake Chad Basin Authority, Africa Rice Centre, and regional power pools in East and West Africa and regional strategies in the various sectors. Yamoussokoro Declaration •  Education: various pan-African initiatives  e.g. Second Decade of Education for Africa (2006-2015), Pan-African University, Arusha Convention for promoting academic mobility of lecturers and students in the continent •  Increasing the private sector is using regional cooperation agreements including the right of establishment in existing regional economic groupings to provide services across national boundaries  e.g. Globacom, Ecobank, ASKY  

  13. Transboundary Cooperation HOW DO WE CONNECT? Inter-African air connections between the most populous cities

  14. Improved Participation in Global Processes • Africa’s participation in global trade processes regional cooperation acted as a catalyst the normative and analytical work of ECA and its convening power •  Global negotiations and processes in trade, climate change and international finance  at the forefront of concerns since the turn of the Millennium • African countries relatively disadvantaged in such processes and negotiations but there was a breakthrough in climate change negotiations in Copenhagen • ECA’ role: • Building capacity • Producing relevant policy papers • Providing forums for dialogue and consensus building • Establishment of the African Trade Policy Centre and African Climate Policy Centre • Producing technical papers on reform of the international financial system and official development assistance to backstop Africa’s participation in G20 and G8 meetings

  15. Conclusion • The presentation intended to give a flavour of how regional cooperation is promoting growth and development in Africa • There is much more that is taking place important to underscore that regional cooperation is taken very seriously in Africa the process has contributed to its recent good economic performance  • However, there is much that still need to be done: • The work of the RECs still needs to be further harmonized • Arrangements to negotiate as one could be extended to other negotiating forums • Intra-Africa trade needs to be greatly boosted • Financing is required for climate change adaptation, to scale up quality of primary education and build much needed infrastructure

  16. Thank you for your attention !