PREFACE: EMBRACING AFRICA
For the second time, the Global Perspectives Initiative is inviting decision-makers from Africa and Europe to The Africa Roundtable, a high-level forum to discuss mutual challenges and opportunities for embracing a new era of partnership and prosperity.
This White Paper is a collection of materials for the The Africa Roundtable 2022: Recovery, Preparedness and Resilience in Times of Crises, happening on 12 May 2022. The material is authorised by our partners, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. They outline facts and ideas that are intended to provide inspiration for the discussion at The Africa Roundtable and beyond.
Last year, Federal President Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier emphasised in his opening of The Africa Roundtable that “we have to do everything we can together. We, Africa and Europe, need each other to tackle the major challenges. And we can learn a lot from each other.” At the time, he set focus on the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change, two external shocks that hit Africa dramatically. Decision-makers and experts at The Africa Roundtable 2021 discussed recovery strategies for African economies and how to integrate the objectives of a green transition in an economic upswing. One year later, another external shock has had a huge impact on our neighbouring continent. The gruesome war in Ukraine exacerbates the conditions for economic recovery and produces additional challenges in Africa and Europe: humanitarian, economic and geostrategic. Food insecurity is becoming a major threat in parts of Africa as the agricultural sector is heavily affected by trade embargos and shortages of wheat and fertiliser. Inflation and growing national debt endanger the stability of many African countries dramatically.
The research paper provided by UNECA outlines the financial preconditions and the determinants of Africa’s fiscal response to current global crises. It describes areas of intervention for economic recovery and a more inclusive financial architecture. At The Africa Roundtable in 2021, representatives from the continent already asked for more equitable conditions on the financial markets and demanded Special Drawing Rights from the IMF, especially for middle-income countries. A paper from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation compiles facts and figures about the impact of the war in Ukraine on Africa, while an extract of the Covid-19 in Africa report covers the challenging road to self-sufficient health infrastructures.
There are many promising opportunities for Africa-Europe relations which should be taken and intensified now. The Africa Roundtable is a dialogue platform to share lessons learned and best practices which should be embraced on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea. We thank all our partners and participants in supporting this
Dr Ingrid Hamm
Co-Founder & CEO, Global Perspectives Initiative
Global Financial Inclusion Is Key to Africa’s Future
White Paper by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa for The Africa Roundtable
The Economic Commission for Africa has developed this food-for-thought paper to provide an overview on key concepts and mechanisms for the deliberations on financial inclusion taking place at The Africa Roundtable, convened under the aegis of the Global Perspective Initiative.
Definitions of financial inclusion revolve traditionally around the process of ensuring access to financial products and services by all sections of society and vulnerable groups. This paper takes a broader view of financial inclusion as ‘measures that promote or undermine affordable access to development finance at scale and at national and sub-national levels’.
In highlighting and interrogating the drivers of Africa’s financial exclusion from development financing, the brief discusses the current context for financial inclusion and concludes with policy perspectives for taking actions in five areas of intervention for a more equitable, inclusive, and responsive global development architecture.
Appropriately designed and executed, financial inclusion programs can promote growth, reduce poverty and inequality, and foster financial stability.
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