African economists table structural changes amid external issues

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Conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have exposed Africa’s vulnerability to external fluctuations, underscoring the urgency of a continental shift toward structural transformation, the African Union (AU) has said.

“Low levels of economic diversification and value addition, coupled with the adverse effects of the recurrent crisis, impede Africa’s efforts to achieve inclusive growth, sustainable development and enhanced prosperity,” the AU said in a statement issued on Monday.

The statement came ahead of the upcoming sixth edition of the AU Congress of African Economists (CAE), which will be held under the theme “Financing Africa’s Development Beyond Crisis,” delving into issues that are critical to African countries as they strive to address their financing gap to realize the vision, aspirations and objectives of Agenda 2063.

The AU said the CAE, slated to be held on Dec. 6-8 in the Zambian capital of Lusaka, will gather African economists within the continent and in the diaspora to deepen the understanding of the link between illicit financial flows, debt management and development in Africa.

According to the AU, the upcoming meeting will offer an opportunity to discuss Africa’s development perspectives following the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, recurrent conflicts and the adverse effects of climate change.

The biennial CAE is a continental policy dialogue platform, which aims to analyze emerging economic issues that are critical to Africa’s transformation with a view to designing and implementing optimal solutions.

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