Africa Meets in Marrakesh to Explore Innovative Financing Mechanisms
Exploring innovative financing mechanisms to boost economic development in Africa, which is recording noteworthy growth rates in a rather gloomy international economic and financial environment, is the main purpose of the 9th African Development Forum currently held in Marrakech, Morocco.
The forum, held on the theme “Innovative financing for Africa’s transformation,” seeks to enhance Africa’s capacity to explore innovative financing mechanisms as real alternatives for financing transformative development in Africa. It also aims to forge linkages between, on the one hand, the importance of mainstreaming resource mobilization and the reduction of trade barriers into economic, institutional and policy frameworks, and on the other, advancing the post-2015 development goals.
Some 700 participants in the forum held in-depth discussions on issues relating to innovative financing mechanisms, mainly in the areas of domestic resource mobilization; illicit financial flows; private equity; and new forms of partnership. They likewise debated ways of initiating concrete strategies for Africa’s development.
In a message to the official opening session of the forum that was attended by the Heads of State of Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal, Alassane Ouattara and Macky Sall, the King of Morocco expressed optimism as to the likely emergence of Africa as a new pole of global growth thanks to its great potential and enormous resources.
“Our changing continent brings a message of hope and revival to the international community. By uniting and pooling our energies, we shall rise together to the great challenge of the 21st century: that of a united, stable and prosperous Africa,” king Mohammed VI said.
However, he cautioned, this requires “an overhaul of African economies, with a clear shift towards technology-intensive, high value added activities.”
To rise to this challenge and make African countries better prepared to meet the post-2015 development objectives, it is essential to raise domestic financial resources for the sustainable financing of large investment projects, especially infrastructure, pointed out King Mohammed VI.
The king also stressed the importance for the international community “to show greater imagination and creativity in devising innovative financing instruments that can effectively support the economic transformation of Africa as well as sustainable development in the continent.”
“Today, Africa needs win-win partnerships rather than conditional support – partnerships that can act as a catalyst for mobilizing financial resources, foster regional economic integration and improve Africa’s position in the international value creation chain,” he said, deeming that “the international community’s mobilization to support Africa financially should include other important dimensions and parameters such as good governance, strong institutions, institutional reliability and capacity building, regional and intergenerational cohesion and human resource development.”
In the same way, he called for more efforts to encourage public-private partnerships and induce the private sector to get involved in high value added sectors, such as renewable energy, agriculture, technology and infrastructure.
The king who welcomed the establishment of the Africa50 Fund, to be hosted by the Casablanca Finance City, the Moroccan finance hub meant to promote Africa’s integration into international finance, facilitate inter-African trade and channel global savings towards investment in the continent, said “the Africa50 Fund will provide the continent with an innovative mechanism to increase large-scale resource mobilization and to attract private financing for the promotion of development as well as infrastructure projects in Africa.”