The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) is optimistic that African countries still have a chance to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals if they can find innovative ways to mobilise financing.
This is despite the shrinking fiscal space, exchange rate turbulence and mounting external debt servicing costs the continent is experiencing, making the risk at its highest.
This is according to Antonio Pedro, Acting Executive Secretary of the UNECA in the 2023 edition of the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index released this month.
“Amid the polycrisis, the global economy is at risk of not achieving the goals of the Agenda for Sustainable Development. In Africa with shrinking fiscal space, exchange rate turbulence and mounting external debt servicing costs the risk is highest.
“Still there is a chance to meet the United National sustainable development goals if countries can find innovative ways to mobilise financing,” Pedro said.
Pedro pointed out that countries needed to prioritise the strengthening of their financial markets.
This, he said, required the creation of an enabling environment through appropriate policies and frameworks that encouraged investment in local currencies in critical sectors, such as infrastructure and agriculture, to strengthen the continent’s food systems.
“Additionally, it is crucial to develops innovative instruments that responds to the financial needs of micro small and medium sized enterprises and support climate mitigation and adaptation measures.
“To this end increasing awareness and strengthening the capacity of stakeholders in using these financing tools will be critical,” Pedro said.
On the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index, Pedro said it continued to be a valuable tool for African countries.
He stated that the index served as a reference point for Policy makers aiming to strengthen financial markets.
“At ECA, we are delighted to have supported Cabo Verde and Tunisia in their first-time inclusion in the 2023 edition of the index. We remain steadfast in our efforts to help our member states develop their financial markets,” Pedro said.
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