Pillar 1: Structural economic transformation and inclusive growth

Extracted from: Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

17. CONCERNED that the benefits of Africa’s resources have been concentrated in a few enclave sectors and limited to narrow segments of society, thus exacerbating poverty, inequality and fragility;

18. RECOGNIZING the need to promote an integrated economy that nurtures inter-sectoral synergies, linkages and job growth; and AWARE of the potential role that structural transformation can play in creating resilient economies, decent employment opportunities, minimizing income and wealth disparities, and eradicating poverty;

19. ACKNOWLEDGING the role of value addition in promoting job creation and expanding the fiscal space for development financing, including social protection programmes, and eliminating poverty; MINDFUL that a successful and effective value-addition programme depends on a stable supply of raw materials, as well as a services sector that is supportive and responsive to the needs of the agricultural and industrial sector;

20. STRESSING the importance of a conducive international environment, including the international economic and financial institutions, in the achievement of sustained and inclusive economic growth; and RECOGNIZING that governance at the international level should be more responsive, legitimate, democratic and inclusive by strengthening the voice and participation of African countries, we COMMIT to:

(a) Inclusive growth that reduces inequality

21. We DEDICATE ourselves to accelerated, stable and sustained inclusive economic growth that: creates decent and productive employment that rapidly reduces inequality; nurtures sustainable social protection programmes; facilitates economic diversification; strengthens resilience to external shocks; and fosters rapid inclusive, resilient and sustainable socio-economic development leading to eradication of poverty.

(b) Sustainable agriculture, food self-sufficiency and nutrition

22. To address this development priority, it is important to:

  1. Enhance the production, storage, transportation, availability, accessibility, utilization, safety and quality of food.
  2. Improve the productivity of smallholder agriculture and livestock through extension of technological support, small-scale irrigation schemes, rural infrastructure, credit and social services.
  3. Support modernization and diversification of agricultural sectors through: private sector participation in agriculture; agri-business development; improved agro-industry linkages; providing special support to integrate women into agri-business value chains; equitable access to land; and sustainable land management practices, including on our arable lands, for present and future generations.
  4. Promote agricultural marketing and information flows by establishing national and regional information centres and cooperation mechanisms in agriculture, food and nutrition security.
  5. Adopt sustainable agricultural, ocean and freshwater fishery practices and rebuild depleted fish stocks to sustainable levels.
  6. Strengthen resilience to external and climate shocks, such as droughts, floods, commodity price volatility, food shortages and export restrictions, particularly on staple foods
  7. Urgently call for multilateral partnerships aimed at food loss reduction, resilience to commodity price fluctuations, and addressing food shortages and export restrictions during crises.

(c) Diversification, industrialization and value addition

23. In achieving this, it is vital to:

  1. Develop the private sector and strengthen the productive capacity of the informal sector to ensure a more active contribution to industrialization and value-addition;
  2. Reallocate and reinvest wealth generated from extractive and other primary commodity sectors into sectors that prioritize value-addition, promote job-rich growth and ensure fair taxation;
  3. Promote processing of primary commodities by developing national value chains across sectors and designing and enforcing national content and beneficiation policies in the extractive and primary commodity producing sectors of the economy; and
  4. A dvocate for Blue/Ocean Economy as well as sustainable exploitation of marine resources in order to make the oceanic industry a solid and viable pillar of our economies.

(d) Developing the Services Sector

24. Developing the service sector is vital for generating decent employment and optimizing and upgrading our industrial structures and other important sectors of African economy. The important role that the service sector can play in facilitating economic transformation and recognizing the weak linkages between the services sector and other sectors of the economy is noted.

25. In this regard, it is important to:

  1. Improve linkages between the services and real sectors, inter alia, through strengthened support to the agricultural and industrial sectors, improved coverage of broadband Internet services, and strengthened telecommunications as backbones of the service sector.
  2. Stimulate home-grown innovations in service delivery, including by improving the quality and efficiency of public services, modern logistics, high-tech services, culture, e-commerce, tourism and health-related services; and
  3. Accelerate international development exchanges and cooperation in this sector.

(e) Infrastructure development

26. Accelerating Africa’s infrastructural development is pivotal to connect African people, countries and economies as well as to help drive social, cultural and economic development. In this regard, the following is critical:

  1. Develop and maintain reliable, sustainable, environmentally friendly and affordable infrastructure in both rural and urban areas with a focus on land, water and air transport and storage facilities, clean water and sanitation, energy, waste management and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT );
  2. Implement infrastructure projects that facilitate intra-African trade and regional and continental integration including, with the assistance of the international community, enhancing research and technological development and the provision of adequate financial resources; and
  3. Promote the delivery of infrastructure programmes to generate local jobs, strengthen domestic skills and enterprise development, as well as enhance technological capability.