AGRA calls for concerted efforts to tackle insecurity, poverty, unemployment

AGRA calls for concerted efforts to tackle insecurity, poverty, unemployment

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA),  has called on  African governments to look for ways to tackle the issues of insecurity, poverty and unemployment to secure the future.

AGRA’s board chairman, Hailemariam Dessalegn, stated this in his keynote address at the Nigerian Economic Summit held in Abuja recently.

He said collaborations between nations, organisations, public and private sectors are of critical importance to tackle the issues.

He lamented that millions of people have lost their sources of livelihood globally.

He further noted that economies are struggling to stay afloat, and businesses, especially small businesses which sustain most economies are gasping for survival.

Dessalegn, who was the former Ethiopian Prime minister noted that the adoption of sound macroeconomic policies and the establishment of economic freedom for farmers, pastoralists and small entrepreneurs, the evidence from Ethiopia and elsewhere in East Asia is the best learning experience for policymakers.

His words: “This shift can easily be emulated during a deep national economic crisis which is the case in most of our countries on the continent.

Rapid and sustained economic growth and associated poverty reduction are pre-conditions for peace and stability in a certain country.

Recalling how his administration was committed to ensuring that every Ethiopian has access to both the basic services and the opportunities that they need for a fulfilling life, he said his government did not relent but kept making efforts to craft policies and programs that could make the greatest impact in the lives of the greatest number of people.

“We knew that delivering that commitment requires sustained growth and transformation of our economy.

Our vision was to become a middle-income country by 2025.

This vision was the driver that propelled Ethiopia forward throughout the six years that I was the Prime Minister,” he said.

Speaking during a high-profile panel discussion at the session: “Building a Secure Nigeria: Key Priorities for Economic Growth and Inclusion,” Dessalegn shed light on the economic, political and governance imperatives for repositioning Nigeria on the path to economic, social, political, environmental, and physical safety.

He noted that Nigeria has survived multiple incidences of social unrest and a wide array of insecurity challenges that have threatened the peaceful coexistence of its citizens in more than a decade.

Dessalegn also said It is also important that the country pay close attention to cross-border infrastructure development considering the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

He, however, commended the Nigerian government on its role particularly the deployment of fiscal and monetary stimulus measures that aided the economic recovery in the fourth quarter of 2020, after the country was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, he said the enormous task before the Nigerian government is to accelerate economic growth and improve the inclusiveness of the so-desired high growth.

He said: “One key challenge facing virtually all African economies is the lack of continuity in government social investment programmes and development plans due to political reasons.

“The right kind of economic development and transformation policy choice can enhance or at least avoid undermining peace and stability positive attributes in society.

“Therefore focusing on policies that address the quest of the majority of our people who reside in rural areas and urban poor neighbourhoods is important.

He further said the sound macroeconomic policy is a precondition for economic growth.

“Economic freedom, at least for smallholder peasant farmers including pastoralists and small scale entrepreneurs, is the other variable associated with positive turning points.

This calls for courageous decisions, particularly investing in pro-poor, pro-rural public spending,” Dessalegn said.

Also on the panel are Atiku Bagudu, Governor of Kebbi State, Dr Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Nigeria, Dr.

Adedoyin Salami, Chairman, Presidential Economic Advisory Council, Prof.

Benedict Okey Oramah, the President and Chairman of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

Others are Mrs Ndidi Nwuneli, Managing Partner of Sahel Consulting and AACE Foods and also AGRA Board Member.

Mrs Eugenia Abu, the CEO and Managing Partner of Eugenia Abu Media moderated the session.

source tribuneonlineng.

AGRA calls for concerted efforts to tackle insecurity, poverty, unemployment

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