The Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four (G-24) has challenged African governments to develop robust economic plans for sustainable development. Such plan, Dr Iyabo Masha, Director, G-24, said must be backed by a strong will by governments on the continent for its full implementation. That, when done, she said would enable African governments to unlock critical funds from international finance and multilateral development institutions to implement sustainable development actions to uplift their citizens out of poverty. She said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency after a press briefing by G24 at the ongoing International Monetary Fund/World Bank Group Annual Meetings in Marrakech, Morocco on Tuesday. ‘African countries must develop robust economic plans that allows them to address their challenges and make progress towards all these societal goals, and progress towards making the climate more sustainable and liveable,’ she said. Dr Masha also said: ‘The political leadership has to take the decision to do that and implement it. The external world and donors will not take that kind of decision on behalf of Africa, and that’s the only way we can succeed.’ On resource utilisation, she reiterated the need to add value to Africa’s natural resources by ensuring that the economic plans were built on making industries thrive. ‘Most of the value in these resources are on the production side, so, African countries must develop economic plans that allows them to establish companies inside their countries to process these extractive goods, and sell them on the international market at affordable prices,’ the G-24 Director said. In order to invest in education, infrastructure, energy and good roads, it would require financing, with many African countries being faced with financing difficulties. She attributed that to rising interest rate in advanced economies, huge debt burden and inflation in many African countries. To overcome this challenge, Dr Masha said: ‘Advanced economies and global financial organisations, including IMF and World Bank have to increase the financing that their providing for African countries at affordable interest rates.’ Providing concessional rate financing to African countries, she argued, would ease the high debt burden, thereby, allow them to execute the economic plans to the benefit of their citizens. The G-24, whose African membership includes Ghana, and, and Nigeria, called for more expansion in global liquidity, such as the voluntary channelling of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to cushion vulnerable countries. This call was made during the IMF/WBG Spring Meetings in April 2023, as it pushed for more support to countries that had been badly hit by recent global economic challenges. The Group also called for a scale up in support for access to affordable water, food and energy, human capital development, digital development and debt sustainability.
Source: Ghana News Agency