Director for the Regional Bureau for Africa at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has challenged African countries to move beyond aid and graduate towards a high and long-term investment plan to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
Ahunna Eziakonwa speaking at the UNDP High-Level Dialogue in Accra on November 7 said the move is required to close the current financing gap of 1.2 trillion per year required for the continent.
“This means that much more is needed beyond the US$60 billion a year received in development assistance from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) countries”
“When correctly used and managed, development assistance could be a catalyst for broad-based economic growth and development. Africa is not the only region to receive development aid, but it is the region with the longest record of an independent mindset and this is unhealthy,” she added.
She noted that the future of Africa beyond aid is not a far-fetched notion but there remains a dominant dependency mindset that stifles creativity and a greater sense of personal responsibility and ownership of the development agenda.
Eziakonwa called for a perspective that shifts the focus of aid as life-support to effectively investing in Africa’s natural resources and wealth for transformation and development.
The UNDP High-Level Dialogue explores how Africa can optimize the use of its own resources, creativity and innovation to effectively finance its own development.