African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development have expressed commitment to implementing the necessary reforms needed to promote transparency and accountability to mobilise domestic and external resources.
The ministers said this in a communique at the end of the UN Economic Commission for Africa’s (UNECA) 53rd Conference of Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning and Development in Addis Ababa on Tuesday.
It was titled “Communique of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development on special drawing rights for low-income and middle-income countries”.
The ministers stated that African countries had demonstrated the benefits of deploying technology to increase revenues, adding that many countries on the continent had introduced e-taxation to increase resource mobilisation.
They noted that countries were deploying digital platforms to engage local communities in the oversight of public spending and transparency, including through information-gathering on public service delivery and the tracking of expenditure commitments.
They added that African governments were strengthening their tax administration systems to identify, track and stem illicit financial flows (IFFs).
They stressed that global support was, however, needed to continue the battle against IFFs.
They noted that this was needed particularly in the areas of big data analytics, machine learning and neural network programming, which provided a variety of tools and methods to predict illicit behaviour and measure IFFs more accurately.
The ministers also expressed optimism that more African countries were improving the enabling environment for business.
“The comprehensive reforms being undertaken by African countries must be complemented by the availability of more resources for all countries.”
They also expressed the assurance of recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with adequate and rapid financing and appropriate comprehensive macro-fiscal and structural policy reforms.
The ministers further urged partners to heed the G7’s call for a new issuance of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and to move to implement the G20 Common Framework.
They also urged partners to extend the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) till the end of 2021.
Furthermore, the ministers called for support on-lending of SDRs to the International Monetary Fund’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT).
They also urged partners to support vaccine production in Africa and accelerate access to vaccines through the COVAX facility and the Africa Vaccines Acquisition Task Team.
“This is a crisis of the collective, which requires a collective and coordinated response,” the ministers said.
The hybrid conference has as its theme “Africa’s Sustainable Industrialisation and Diversification in the Digital Era in the Context of COVID-19”