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Global crises still Africa’s SDGs achievement

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By Mercy Kelani

“Building Africa’s Resilience to Global Economic Shocks” — UN ECA’s report.

According to a recent report by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), there have been multiple crises that constitute the climate change-induced shocks, the ripple impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. These crises have led to the regression and stagnation of Africa in regards to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In 2015, all Member States of the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

This adoption was made to put an end to poverty, enhance the development of more prosperous and peaceful societies, and ensure reduction of inequality by 2030. The report was titled “Building Africa’s Resilience to Global Economic Shocks”. It had its focus on the effects of multiple and recurring global shocks on economies across Africa. The report reflects how these global shocks reduce the prospects of Africa towards achieving the set targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

In 2021, over 30 million Africans went into extreme destitution.

Also, it examines how to ensure achievement of inclusive economic transformation and enhance resilience. Since the past few decades, the status of economic performance has depended on various duration, magnitude, and recurrence shocks. In 2021, over 30 million Africans went into extreme destitution, and about 22 million jobs were lost by people. The Russia-Ukraine war increased the uncertainty and fears of food insecurity on the African continent. There have also been internal conflicts and risks.

These conflicts and risks have increased the vulnerability of many African nations, reducing their resilience towards the management of current and future shocks. Also, these multiple shocks have had lasting effects that are making it challenging for economies in Africa to experience full recovery, despite a short-lived shock like the global financial crisis. This damage could also grow into other domains, including political instability and conflict. Thereby reducing recovery and resilience to shocks that are yet to come.

It has become more difficult for Africa to finance for its recovery.

The report further stated that growth and fiscal space in various African countries are still under constraints, as a result of the depth and external nature of these multiple crises. In conjunction with the means and resource targeted towards the mitigation of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, recurrent trade barriers in the region, and poor productivity in agriculture, it has become more difficult for Africa to finance for its recovery. Nations on the continent are also working towards acquiring necessary resources as response to shocks.

Furthermore, there have been an increase in the level of debt in second-world countries as there have also been a rise in the cost of borrowing. Therefore, the UN ECA’s report requests new ways for countries across Africa to tackle challenges of global economic shocks. The report also advocates the improvement of risk management and enhancement of resilience strategies through good governance and critically-designed national development plans, including structural transformation through smart industrial strategies and equitable green growth.

There must be implementation of pandemic prevention.

Additionally, building a new global cooperation framework and ensuring acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could lead to the enhancement of collaboration and integration among countries in the region, which would further enable risk pooling and management. There was also a proposal to boost robust resource mobilization strategies for the financial aid of sustainable development. There must also be implementation of pandemic prevention and systems for early caution to build resilience and address future shocks.

Related Link

UNDP: Website

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