Donors lag in meeting global commitments to help Africa – UN survey
African policymakers see significant progress in debt relief but find donors lacking in other globally agreed measures on financing for development, according to a new survey conducted by the United Nations.
The study by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) aimed to measure progress toward achieving the objectives of the Monterrey Consensus on Financing for Development, a 2002 plan of action aimed at launching a new partnership between donor and recipient countries.
The survey results indicated that considerable efforts are required by both African governments and development partners to mobilize the level of resources needed for development in the region, ECA said in a news release.
Governments are making efforts to mobilize domestic resources, but savings rates in African countries remain inadequate relative to their investment requirements, the policymakers said. Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow has increased, but they found it insufficient and too concentrated in the natural resources sector to help accelerate economic growth and development.
Respondents also believed that donors have not made much progress in supporting African countries in the area of trade. Flows of official development assistance (ODA) to Africa are on the increase but donors are still not on track to meet their commitments, they said.
ECA said there has been a significant reduction in the external debt burden of African countries as a result of recent debt relief initiatives but noted that more debt relief is needed, while African governments must “exercise caution in borrowing to ensure that debts in African countries remain sustainable.”
The Monterrey Consensus adopted at the International Conference on Financing for Development in 2002 was the first global attempt to comprehensively address the challenges of financing development, especially in the context of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The UN General Assembly is organizing a “Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development” in Doha, Qatar, in the second half of 2008 in order to take stock of progress made in the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus and explore options for moving the development finance agenda forward.