Africa: Raising resources to finance the post-2015 development agenda

The scale of resource needs for the post-2015 and sustainable development agendas, although yet to be fully quantified, provides a serious challenge for aligning expectations of an ambitious post-2015 agenda with the implementation of that agenda.  To bridge this gap, it is crucial that Africa, hitherto considered to be significantly dependent on external resources for financing its development, puts forward its vision of how the financing issue should be addressed.

With a view to contributing to this visioning, this synthesis draws on the reflections of civil society representatives and experts at the meetings on Development Finance and the Post 2015 Framework and the post-2015 Development Narrative organized by the Pan African Parliament, the United Nations Millennium Campaign-Africa, UNDP, ACORD, Christian Aid, Tax Justice Network - Africa and Third World Network- Africa, with the participation of UNECA and the African Union in Johannesburg, South Africa on 24-25 February 2013.

The meeting reflected an emerging consensus on the continent that the question of financing and the organization of the economy and the state are interlinked. Consequently, there is an imperative to strengthen and realign the focus of state activities towards an orientation of a developmental and capable state in regard to the mobilization and expenditure of resources; that the different sources of finance while additive at one level, also impact one another at others. Further, the issues of financing and development partnerships cannot and should not be divorced from policies aimed at system-wide sustainability, resilience and a pro-active focus on developmental priorities to mitigate the growing financialization of our economies.

Proposals for financing and development partnerships need to be assessed from three perspectives: first, from the point of view of evidence discernible from recent trends for the different financing modalities; second, from a political economy perspective as regards state-citizen relations and accountability; and, third, from the point of view of their contribution to economic, social and sustainable development-related transformational agendas for the continent.  There is a well-documented push for a greater reliance on domestic resource mobilization, principally through identifying how the tax base can be expanded further as well as staunching underpayment, illicit transfers, licit transfers through transfer pricing negotiated subsidies etc.

The issues underlined in the document, being as they are, a compilation of submissions and discussions at a one-day roundtable, are by no means exhaustive. The issues were submitted in the hope that they stimulate further discussion on an issue which is critical to Africa’s hopes for structural transformation, democratic governance and a better life for its citizens.

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