Africa has the resources to create its own success story 

The 10th Africa Regional Forum for Sustainable Development ended on a hopeful note, with speakers highlighting the continent’s potential as well as gains made.


This article is sponsored by UN ECA

Addressing the closing of the 10th session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-10) remotely, Paula Narváez, President of the Economic and Social Council and Permanent Representative of Chile to the UN, Paula Narváez, acknowledged that the continent faces multifaceted challenges, requiring tailored and inclusive approaches to address.

 In spite of this, however, Narváez noted that Africa is also a source of innovative solutions and experiences. 

“The continent is a hub of creativity and resilience where communities have developed original approaches to address pressing issues such as food security, health care access, renewable energy, and environmental conservation,” she observed.

Narváez pointed to the establishment of the African Trade Exchange Platform, intended to pool procurement of scarce supplies, and the Pharma Initiative, which leverages the African Continental Free Trade Area to access pharmaceutical products and boost local production, as examples of creative solutions to pressing problems. 

In her closing remarks, Hanan Morsy, Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist at ECA, expressed confidence that the drive and engagement on display at the conference indicated Africa’s will to utilise the wealth of opportunities on the continent. 

“We must really leverage and build on these assets by placing education, the use of technology and high quality data and statistics at the core of our efforts,” she emphasised. 

 Morsy said the conference had brought to the fore Africa’s capability to reverse the trend and accelerate actions towards realising the SDGs. 

This will require investing in building resilience in a range of areas and committing to transformative initiatives such as common agro-industrial parks. 

Africa, she said, must also build partnerships and explore innovative financing mechanisms.

The continent must also assert itself on the world stage in the search for solutions to its challenges. “We welcome Africa’s permanent seat at the G20 and the General Assembly vote to adopt a Convention on International Tax Cooperation,” she said.

Ramiz Alakbarov, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ethiopia, thanked the participants and called for more global resources to be applied to development, rather than war, and for Africa to invest in solutions of the future.