|Africa Partnership Forum communique
|25 January 2010
The Africa Partnership Forum held its 13th regular session in Addis Ababa on 25th January 2010, and was addressed by the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union. The Forum conveyed its deepest condolences to the government and people of Ethiopia on the tragic loss of life following the air accident the previous evening.
- The Forum agreed on the following key political messages:
(i) The prospects for economic growth and poverty reduction in Africa have been profoundly affected by a series of interlinked global crises: the economic crisis, food security and climate change. All of these crises require a combination of global, regional and national action.
(ii) Several important initiatives have been undertaken during 2009 to respond to these crises including at G8 and G20 Summits, at meetings of UN and AU bodies including the 15th COP in Copenhagen, and in meetings of the international financial institutions and regional development banks. Meetings of the APF during 2009, including the Special Session on Climate Change, and the development of a strengthened and united African voice, have contributed to these processes;
(iii) It is essential that the political effort that was mobilized in 2009 should be maintained in 2010, in order to implement what has been agreed and to turn the economic recovery which is now starting into sustained and sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction, thus enabling Africa to restore progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.
- In more detail, the Forum reviewed progress in five areas:
(i) Climate change – The Copenhagen Accord represents a step forward in addressing climate change, one of the greatest challenges of our time, which is critical to the prospects for achieving sustainable development and poverty reduction in Africa. Development partners called on all Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to associate themselves with the Accord and emphasised that sustained political effort will be needed during 2010 to elaborate and implement the provisions of the Accord., All Members of the Forum welcomed the development of a common African position on climate change, which had enabled Africa’s voice to be heard more clearly at Copenhagen, and noted the leading role of Africa at Copenhagen. As agreed in the Copenhagen Accord:
- Action now needs to be taken to reduce emissions by 2020, with a view to reducing global emissions so as to hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius;
- Rapid and effective disbursement of the short-term funding approaching US$30bn is essential;
- Action should also be taken to reach the goal of mobilizing long-term funding of US$100bn a year by 2020;
- Further work should be undertaken on technology transfer and capacity-building.
(ii) Food Security – Food insecurity continues to be a major threat in Africa, exacerbated by the impact of climate change. The momentum and action agreed at international summits and by African governments in 2009, needs to be maintained including:
- The L’Aquila pledge by G8 and other donors of US$20 bn;
- Commitments to provide resources to CAADP, which participants agree has a key role to play.
At the same time, action is needed by African governments, to maintain the momentum of implementation of the Maputo commitment to allocate 10% of national budgets to agriculture.
(iii) The crisis and development finance – The economic crisis has had a profound effect on growth and poverty reduction in Africa in 2009. Prospects are improving but sustained political effort will be needed during 2010 to turn economic recovery into sustained and sustainable growth and to restore progress towards the MDGs:
- There has been a concerted policy effort during 2009 in response to the crisis, both by African governments and development partners;
- Africa and its partners need now to take a strategic look at the key policy priorities for development finance over 2010-2015
(iv) Impact of global financial crisis on health – The consequence of the crisis is not only financial, but multi-sectoral. African countries have to cope with the impact of the crisis on health and their health system, raising concerns that the global financial crisis, reduced revenue and aid fluctuations could undermine the important advances made in Africa’s health care in the past decade. A wide range of actions is required to protect health care systems in Africa, with the support of the international community:
- Priority should be given to pro-poor measures, including universal access to health care and improved food security;
- Partners should consider African national and continental health strategies, including the AU Health Strategy, and strengthening health systems, particularly human resources for health. This will help better address maternal health;
- Expansion and improved access to health-related funds including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, with fragile states given special attention;
- Development of monitoring systems on key indicators of potential impact of the crisis on health systems and progress made.
African and Development Partner efforts to enhance funding of national health plans are acknowledged, while reiterating the importance of Development Partner commitments to increase development aid for health and improve its architecture in line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Africa and Development Partners seize the 13th APF to reaffirm support and commitment to MDGs attainment.
(v) The AU/NEPAD African Action Plan (AAP) 2010-2015: The revised AAP is Africa’s defining statement on flagship programmes/projects aimed at advancing regional and continental integration, anchored on AU/NEPAD guiding principles. The AAP was endorsed by the 21st Summit of NEPAD Heads of State and Government Implementation Committee (HSGIC) of June 2009 in Sirte, Libya. The APF recalled its decision at the Tokyo April 2008 10th APF on the AAP review. The revised AAP promotes Africa’s common partnership objectives and should serve as an important element of engagement with Development Partners alongside other pre-existing bilateral and multilateral partnerships. A strategic overview of the Plan was presented to the 13th APF, identifying key success factors:
- Strategic alignment with AU/NEPAD sector policy frameworks and MDGs;
- An African-owned and African-led process with wide consultation including RECs;
- Accelerating the pace of investment to increase the supply of bankable projects in all sectors;
- Greater and more focused partnership engagement;
- An advocacy and investment tool inspired by Africa’s continued commitment to reforms and Development Partners’ commitment to deepen their support for Africa’s development.
The World Bank’s Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD) reinforces the analysis and strategic priorities in the AAP and confirms that AAP provides a strong framework for development partners support.
The 13th APF welcomed the revised AAP as a useful addition to the range of mechanisms for providing regional/continental public goods in Africa. The APF noted that Africa and many donors are already funding a wide range of infrastructure and regional integration projects including several mentioned in the AAP.
- All members of the Forum expressed their appreciation to the UN Economic Commission for Africa for hosting the meeting, and for the excellent arrangements. The next meeting of the Forum will be held in Canada in Spring (provisionally on 29th April, 2010.)