"How do we fund the Africa 2063 Agenda " As part of the activities of the 10th day of Nasser Fellowship for African Leadership
Dr. Hala Al-Saeed, Minister of the State for Planning and Follow-up and Administrative Reform, met with the African youth participating in Nasser Fellowship for Leadership organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in cooperation with the Faculty of African Graduate Studies - Cairo University. She also gave an introductory lecture on how to fund the objectives of the Africa 2063 Agenda.
At the beginning of the lecture, Al-Saeed stressed on Egypt's ever-present keenness on strengthening cooperation in all fields with its fraternal African countries, especially with Egypt being the current chairperson of the African Union for the year 2019. Al-Saeed referred to Egypt organizing the first African forum for fighting corruption in the city of Sharm El-Sheikh on the 12th-13th of this July, honored by and under the auspices of the Egyptian President, and with the wide participation of about 51 African states, 4 Arab states and more than 200 high-profile African officials. She pointed out that at the beginning of next week Egypt is set out to host the 32nd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations - football which marks the first time in the history of the championship when 24 teams participate compared to 16 in the previous edition. For the championship to be a success and be outstanding, Egypt harnessed all potentials with the aid of all ministries and bodies. Al-Saeed also noted that the Ministry of State for Planning and Follow-up and Administrative Reform had prepared to host the 40th session of the African Association for Public Administration and Management during the last quarter of the ongoing year.
Al-Saeed highlighted the attention Egypt gives to organizing Nasser Fellowship for Leadership for its effective role in creating a new generation of African youth leaders who will contribute to establishing communication between peoples of Africa, achieving development and a better future for our African States.
Al-Saeed asserted that Africa took the initiative to set a strategy for sustainable development when it established in 2013 the Africa 2063 Agenda, which was approved by the African Union as a long-term, phased strategy for the future that lays the foundation for integral economic and social transformation of Africa within the next 50 years.
She noted that the Africa 2063 agenda came to crown a lot of efforts and initiatives to achieve growth and sustainable development including: the Lagos Plan of Action, the Abuja Treaty, the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa and other initiatives and programmes aimed at achieving sustainable development in Africa.
Within the framework of coordinating national plans and reinforcing regional cooperation in the continent to achieve sustainable development, Al-Saeed pointed out the consistency of activities in this field which included: holding the Africa 2017 forum for sustainable development in Addis Ababa as well as the Africa 2019 forum for sustainable development which was held lately in April in Marrakech, Kingdom of Morocco.
With regard to the issue of funding as one of the biggest challenges facing efforts of achieving sustainable, Al-Saeed said that the most significant of what unites national plans and programmes for achieving sustainable development is the dire need for providing funds and mobilizing required resources, whether in an international context through the 2030 plan for sustainable development or in a regional and continental context through the Africa 2063 agenda. She said that global studies and foundations stress on the increasing funding needs required to achieve sustainable development, noting that recent studies of the African development bank show that Africa's funding needs required to carry out infrastructural projects essential to achieving development are estimated at around 130-17- Billion Dollars annually, with a funding gap of around 68-108 Billion Dollars.
Al-Saeed stressed that inadequate funding was a main reason behind the modest outcomes of the many developmental initiatives launched by African states. Therefore, the Africa 2063 agenda recommends reformation of the system and mechanisms of funding of developmental plans.
As for the Egyptian efforts to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development, the Minister of State for Planning stated that Egypt were one of the first states to adopt a national plan to achieve international objectives of sustainable development, that is, Egypt's vision 2030 strategy for sustainable development which was launched in February of 2016 forming the general framework coordinating programmes of action during the upcoming years. Seeking that vision to be a live document in line and in correspondence with national and international political and economic variables, the Ministry of State for Planning and Follow-up and Administrative Reform deemed upgrading the strategy important as issues and challenges have presented themselves to Egypt since 2016, the thing that should be considered in future strategic approaches.
She insisted that Egypt considers youth as the present and future of the development process which is why the state is widely carrying out training and ability development programmes, empowering young people economically by promoting entrepreneurship and spreading the entrepreneurial culture among them, expanding the establishment of business incubators, carrying out a number of projects and programmes supporting that such as the 2030 Pioneers Project. The state also gives special attention to supporting Egyptian women in that field.
Al-Saeed displayed the most notable efforts, procedures and reformations made by the Egyptian state within the framework of implementing Egypt's Vision 2030 and the economic and social reformation programme Which involves reforming the current legislative and institutional system by issuing a bundle of law and regulations in addition to reinforcing the legislative framework supporting partnership between both public and private sectors, working on configuring the infrastructure required to attract investors, seeking to develop the small & medium enterprises sector, supporting the assimilation of the unofficial sector into the official one and supporting entrepreneurship and training to qualify cadres. Added to that is reformation and governance of the state’s administrative body as a comprehensive plan for administrative reformation is being implemented. This plan corresponds with the ongoing preparation to move to the new administrative capital. The Egyptian government also adopted a serious approach towards achieving a digital society and monetary integration as one of the pillars of comprehensive and sustainable development.
The minister of planning proceeded that in line with all the previous efforts is working on the governance of public expenditure through generally improving the planning system in Egypt in pursue of advancing the efficacy of using current money resources as the state is currently putting the programme and performance budget into effect on a wide scale as one of the main objectives of the state’s monetary and economic policy. Within this framework, the state founded the national system for planning and follow-up as an advanced, effective, one-of-a-kind electronic tool to monitor, follow up with and assess all state bodies.
With regard to the most notable outcomes of the procedures and reformations make by the state during the last years, Al-Saeed stated that they included: the Egyptian economy achieving the highest growth rate in the last 10 years which was 5,6% in the 3rd quarter of the current fiscal year (2018-2019) surpassing growth rates in emerging markets and developing countries. Also, unemployment rates dropped to 9.9% compared to 13.2% in the year (2013-2014), not to mention the optimistic look by credit rating agencies and international institutions to the Egyptian economy.
Al-Saeed added that to complete future orientations of the state, the basic outline of the investment plan for the year 2019-2020 was drawn. The main objectives of this plan being: achieving a consistent economic growth rate so as to reach %6, fixing population growth rates at %2.3 in 2020, making gross investments worth 1.17 Trillions with a growth rate of %26.5, increasing the volume of public investment to 533.6 billion pounds by 29% growth, increasing the investment rates of GDP on 19/2020 to 18.3% compared to 17.3% expected in the current year 18/2019, 16.7% actual last year 17/2018, reducing the unemployment rate to 9.1%, and continuing the implementation of the structural reform plan to give a developmental boost to promising sectors with value.
The Nasser Leadership Internship is the first African Internship to target young African leaders with diverse disciplines within their communities and is one of the mechanisms for the critical enablers of Africa's transformation endorsed by Agenda 2063.
The objectives of the internship are to convey Egypt's experience in establishing and building national institutions, create a new generation of young African transformative leaders with a vision in line with the directions of Egypt's presidency of the African Union, which believes in serving the objectives of African unity through integration, as well as increase the knowledge of the young African leaders most influential on the continent by training and provide them with the necessary skills and strategic visions. The Internship targeted 100 young executive leaders from African Union countries, lasting two weeks from 8 to 22 June 2019.