Power and Politics

President Hichilema upbeat about prospect of Africa meeting 10% annual growth projection


Experts at the 36th African Union Summit have stressed the need for Africa to sustain annual growth rates of at least seven to 10 percent over the next 40 years.

At the summit, President Hakainde Hichilema expressed confidence on the continents’ growth.

The experts, while examining an ongoing study of key factors underlying development in Africa, emphasised the need for the continent to sustain annual growth rates of at least seven to 10 percent over the next 40 years if Agenda 2063 was to be met.

The session, organised by the Africa Union Commission and the African Development Bank, was held on the side-lines of the 36th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.

President Hichilema speaking during the session, said he had no doubt that Africa would overcome poverty and expected nothing less than recommendations fit for purpose.

He said in a message read on his behalf by Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane.

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“What we can do collectively in getting the African economy to grow can no longer be seen as a pipeline dream,” President Hichilema said.

The study will undertake a deep analysis of Africa’s growth trajectory and identify key actions for Africa to double its growth rates from the current level for the next 40 years.

Agenda 2063, set by the African Union, is Africa’s roadmap and master plan for transforming the continent into the global powerhouse of the future.

African Development Bank Acting Chief Economist and Vice President Kevin Urama, said the study would inform recommendations for a development blueprint to help transform Africa’s economies and eradicate poverty.

“No African country has achieved consistent growth rates for decades-long growth. Why the inconsistencies, and what are the drivers of rise and fall?” Urama asked. “We need new financial models’ novel approaches to address them. Redistribution of resources is inevitable.

“We need new financial models, novel approaches to address them” he said.

Hanan Morsy, Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, said Africa needed macro-economic stability.

“The continent must scale up the production value chain, not just export raw materials,” she observed.

Sharing examples from Angola, the country’s Finance minister Vera Daves de Sousa said progress meant commitment.

De Sousa said other requisites were tackling excessive bureaucracy and promoting human capital development as a main pillar of the country’s development plan.

Other speakers listed additional hurdles the continent faces, chief among them was the cost of capital to achieve the infrastructure expenditure required for growth, the bulging youth population, and the need to fast-track technology innovation and skills.

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