African leaders in politics, private sector, arts, media, academia and philanthropies will convene in Accra, Ghana, on 7 November 2019 at a high-level dialogue to explore how the continent can enhance and leverage the use of its own resources, creativity and innovation to effectively finance its development.
The dialogue is being organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Government of Ghana on the theme: “Africa’s Money for African Development: A Future beyond Aid”.
The event, to be hosted by the President Nana Akufo-Addo, is part of series of high-level meetings to be held by the senior management team of UNDP in Africa, dubbed the UNDP Africa Cluster Meeting. Discussions will focus on the future of development in Africa and how to capitalize on the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as well as opportunities emerging from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Speaking ahead of the dialogue, at a recent meeting with a team from UNDP, Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration of Ghana underscored the importance of Africa’s need for self-sufficiency, which is the core theme of the high-level dialogue.
She highlighted the opportunities offered by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Africa Union’s agenda 2063 for the continent’s development.
“If we are able to work on all these goals and make progress or achieve them, I think what we will have is an Africa that is self-sufficient”, noted Ms. Botchwey.
Explaining the importance of the dialogue, the Assistant Secretary General and Regional Director for Africa of UNDP, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa noted that, despite the huge funding gaps (an estimate of up to $1.2 trillion a year) required to implement the SDGs in Africa, the continent is losing about $50 billion annually to illicit capital outflows, mainly from trade mis-invoicing.
These, she said, if resolved can address development challenges and debts across the continent. She indicated that the upcoming dialogue is intended to engage thought leaders in conversations to ensure that Africa’s money serves the needs of its people.
“The wealth hidden in the African continent is contained in the earth, the people and the creative energy that ignites innovations from dynamic ideas. This dialogue recognizes the power of African influencers across diverse sectors to accelerate development,” Ms. Eziakonwa stated.
The high-level dialogue falls in line with UNDP’s strategic offer for Africa, to engage with African leaders and influencers, to drive sustainable development across the continent.
More than 200 participants are expected to attend the event. Leading African business leaders, environmentalists, climate change experts and youth, as well as renowned actors from the creative industry, trade and agribusiness including women will drive panel discussions at the dialogue.