An action plan to overcome crises and achieve economic transformation
Following the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Equatorial, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, The Union of the Comoros, and Zimbabwe
Joint declaration of the Heads of State and Government to mobilize African countries towards supporting an ambitious development agenda across the continent
1. We, the Heads of State or Government of Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Equatorial, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, The Union of the Comoros, and Zimbabwe, have met on July 7th, 2022, in Dakar to discuss our development challenges and design a common path toward the optimal use of World Bank Group financing to drive the sustainable development and economic transformation of the continent.
We thank H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and current Chairperson of the African Union, for taking the initiative of organizing this important meeting. We also thank H.E. Mr. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, for making our joint plea for the success of the twentieth replenishment of IDA resources (IDA20) to finance the World Bank Group’s projects and programs.
2. The Abidjan Declaration of July 15, 2021 established three priorities for Africa: (i) human capital improvement, (ii) job creation through private sector development policies, and (iii) economic recovery. In one year, the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly contributed to the fragility of our economies, which were further weakened by the consequences of the crisis between Ukraine and Russia.
3. On recent economic and social developments
We commend the efforts undertaken by all our countries to fight poverty. We recognize that, despite these efforts, poverty in Africa is increasing for the first time in a generation, triggered by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and exacerbated by numerous internal and external shocks, including climate change and conflict. We also find that most countries on the continent have not made significant progress in areas such as poverty reduction, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and human capital accumulation.
The disproportionate impact of these shocks on the most vulnerable populations, particularly women, children, and displaced people, is a significant concern.
4. Since 2020, the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the geopolitical tensions arising from the war between Ukraine and Russia have significantly reduced medium-term fiscal space and have exacerbated public debt vulnerabilities. At the end of May 2022, twenty-three (23) countries on our continent were at high risk of or in debt distress.
5. In this critical context for Africa, we welcome the success of the record replenishment of IDA resources, for a total of ninety-three (93) billion US dollars. We are deeply grateful to all our partners who contributed to the mobilization of this record amount.
Through this Declaration, together with the public and private sector financing entities of the World Bank Group, we commit ourselves to identify and operationalize, as a matter of urgency, the projects and programs that will address our development challenges.
Dakar Call to Action
6. This call to action expresses our commitment to a strong recovery, alongside a sustainable and inclusive transformation of our economies, in partnership with IDA. To this end:
7. We commit to accelerating Africa’s economic transformation to mitigate future shocks. Through strong political leadership and proactive actions, particularly in the areas of good governance, security, peace, and crisis preparedness, we commit to successfully meeting the challenge of post-COVID-19 recovery and changing our development trajectories. We reaffirm that these actions are essential prerequisites for developing our economies.
8. Africa is facing a major food and nutrition crisis for the third successive year, and we urgently need to strengthen our response mechanisms to address this situation. With IDA20 resources, we will invest in priority development sectors to overcome structural challenges - such as fragility, climate change, and environmental degradation. We are committed to improving agricultural productivity through innovation in food value chains and developing a climate-resilient agriculture to reduce our dependence on food imports.
We remind the international community of the critical and urgent need to take immediate action to address climate change in Africa. Recognizing that the greatest asset of Africa in addressing the challenge of climate change is its unparalleled natural capital, which sustains over seventy (70) % of Africans, we will intensify our efforts to revitalize ecosystems, promoting landscape restoration and sustainable forest management through programs such as the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), the Blue Congo Basin Fund and the Green Climate Fund.
9. Economic growth, job creation, and responses to climate change all depend on a fair and equitable energy transition. We reaffirm our commitment to take action to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.
This requires providing electricity to an additional eighty-five (85) million people per year over the next eight years, which will need an unprecedented mobilization of public and private investment. We will also encourage efforts to invest in low-carbon energy, including renewables and gas, which is a transition fuel for the continent to achieve universal access to electricity, tariff reduction, industrialization, and job creation.
10. Protecting, improving, and increasing investment in our human capital is fundamental to achieving the structural transformation of our economies. We are committed to closing the human capital development gap. This will involve significant investments to strengthen social safety nets and food security, as well as increased spending on education, including creating Centers of Excellence. In health, we will make substantial investments to address shocks such as pandemics while improving the quality of services provided to populations and national data collection systems that will track progress in human capital.
11. We will intensify our efforts to accelerate the development of the digital economy and aim for universal access to broadband connectivity by 2030. To do so, we will increase investments in broadband connectivity, data infrastructure, and reforms that enhance competition to improve digital services' access, quality, and affordability. We firmly commit to using IDA20 resources to achieve these goals, which will increase financial inclusion, raise the average annual GDP growth per capita by 1.5 percent, and reduce poverty by 0.7 percent per year.
12. We reaffirm that the cross-cutting projects financed by IDA20 must promote strong private sector involvement and requires support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). To this end, we commit to strengthening the implementation of public policies and reforms to increase private investment while promoting local content to favor African companies. We stress the importance of developing value chains in the critical areas of agricultural production and processing and the digital economy, which are essential in creating jobs for the youth and women.
13. We reaffirm our commitment to implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and will strongly emphasize intra-African trade, removing bottlenecks, and promoting cross-border investment in transport and energy infrastructure.
We consider it essential to support the development of regional projects to meet the continent's collective challenges, notably through the mobilization of IDA20 resources and, in particular, through the implementation of NEPAD's Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) in the interconnection of road and electricity networks.
14. We call on our partners to improve the concessionality and disbursement terms to limit the risks of public debt distress. We reiterate our commitment to strengthen tax and non-tax revenue mobilization and improve debt management and transparency.
We believe that public sector assets and liabilities should now form the basis of country-specific risk analysis beyond traditional debt sustainability analysis models.
We recognize the need to increase and better target our budget allocations in key development areas, strengthen our capacity to absorb IDA resources through better project preparation and management, improve financial management as well as create an enabling environment to attract needed private sector financing, including the development of public-private partnerships (PPPs).
15. This call for action will require strong leadership and political commitment. In this context, we call for strengthening coordination mechanisms at the continental level to ensure optimal and fair utilization of IDA20 resources to achieve our development objectives.
Dakar, July 7th, 2022