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The future of financing for development in Africa: Insights from the Annual Meetings of the AfDB in May 2015

Briefing Note 79

October 2015

Bolaji-Adio, A. 2015. The future of financing for development in Africa: Insights from the Annual Meetings of the AfDB in May 2015. (Briefing Note 79). Maastricht: ECDPM.

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A critical focus of African and world leaders in 2016 and beyond will be how to develop concrete and actionable policies to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). How to ensure sustainability and achieve greater impact have been key elements shaping thinking around the post-2015 development agenda. 

African governments have shown great enthusiasm for developing innovative ideas for financing for development. The third International Financing for Development conference was a good start in terms of emphasising the need for better domestic resource mobilisation. 

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To effectively raise finance for development, however, African governments will need to create conditions for inclusive economic growth and at the same time improve tax policy and public financial management systems. 

Moreover, international efforts to combat illicit financial flows can help Africa to raise the resources needed to finance its development. Ultimately though, such reforms will accomplish little without political stability and inclusion, government accountability and transparency, social protection, and the availability of key infrastructure and public services.

This note was prepared by Adedayo Bolaji-Adio for an African Union meeting on financing for development in Brussels on October 23 2015 where ECDPM’s San Bilal will be present key messages on international private financing for development in Africa

Key Messages

  • One of the reasons for the failure of the Millennium Development Goals and past international Financing for Development conferences was the absence of a strong growth agenda. In order to raise the necessary finance for the implementation of Africa’s development agenda, including the sustainable development goals, African countries will need to concentrate on boosting economic growth and reducing income inequality.
  • African governments need to take a developmental approach to domestic resource mobilisation that focuses on improved tax administration, the provision of critical public services and support for private-sector productivity.
  • A concerted international effort to combat illicit financial flows is extremely important for assisting African countries to mobilise financial capital for development. Curbing illicit financial flows requires more domestic capacity for fighting corruption as well as better international cooperation on tax and money-laundering issues. 

Image courtesy of Andreas Kollegger

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African institutions and regional dynamicsTrade, investment and financeDevelopment Finance and TaxationBriefing Notes (series)African Union Commission (AUC)Development financeAfrica

External authors

Adedayo Bolaji-Adio